Tuesday 6 December 2022

San José in watercolor, a capital that refuses to be called ugly

The work of Jose Pablo Ureña, Urban Sketcher, Teacher and Visual Artist can be seen at the Artflow gallery in Avenida Escazu

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QCOSTARICA – It has been 6 years since artist José Pablo Ureña has been in charge of choosing and painting in acuarela (watercolor) the features of some of the most recognized points – and others not so much – of Costa Rica’s capital city.

He does it so that people get to know the city better and to try to fight the idea that it is a an ugly city.

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One of his favorite works is a large-format, grayscale, of downtown San José from the air. He believes that the panorama that he paints had not been presented before.

“I was worked  for 4 months, almost a full-time,” Ureña commented in an interview.

Ureña has a degree in Plastic Arts from the University of Costa Rica (UCR), where he also works.

Since he started with this idea of ​​landscapes, he has created two types of works. The large and medium format (which for now are about 35) and more than a thousand small format, which are urban sketches, drawn in a notebook.

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Some of them have been sold, others remain on display and fill up some of his sketchbooks, which he always carries with him for when his eye tells him when it is time to stop, take a better look, and then paint.

“If I see something that catches my attention, I look for a corner and make the sketch, between half an hour and an hour maximum,” said Ureña.

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In large-format works, the work is more extensive and can take months, depending on the work that each one requires.

“For the small drawings, I don’t do the panorama so much, but what I’m looking for are the traditional “Josefino” (San Jose) neighborhoods. Barrios such as Cuba, Luján, México or Amón, which more of a story, a sentimentality,” added the artist with an exhibition at the Artflow gallery on Avenida Escazú.

The images are shared on social networks – Facebook, Instagram – first to publicize his work and second to try to fight against the idea that San José is an ugly city, with nothing to offer.

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