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The Silent Words of San José – by Lois Charm

  •  The Silent Words of San José – by Lois Charm
 The Silent Words of San José – by Lois Charm

Date: October 9th 2017

Every day, voices speak to thousands who walk down the streets of San Jose. These voicesrange in different sizes, shapes, and come in an infinite amount of colors. The ever presence of street art in San Jose is one worth mentioning, as with everywhere I have went, I have been confronted with some of the most detailed, beautiful street art I have ever seen. Coming from a city in the U.S. that doesn´t have as much activity going on, it has been especially overwhelming for me to see the impressive talent behind so many anonymous paintings.

 

Since I have fallen in love with what artists are doing in Costa Rica, It has made me speculate on whether these artists are receiving the attention they deserve. As a developing artist myself, I can most definitely say that the amount of effort and technique that has been put into a lot of the murals I´ve seen is a level of talent that I haven´t too often come by.

 

The first thing that really grabs my attention about most of the murals I ´ve seen is the scale and proportion of them. With my semester here being the first time I have gotten experience with public art, under the guidance of professor Jorge Camacho in his mural painting class, I am now more able to interpret the technicalities used in proportionally sizing a painting on a large wall surface.

 

The second aspect that has really stood out to me about the public street art in San Jose is the conceptual ideas behind many of these murals. Whether it´s uniquely detailed letters, spelling out an anonymous name, or a pair of praying hands holding on to rosary beads, with a bold statement painted next to them, it all means something relevant, and often displays underlying cultural aspects of the societies they come from.

 

The last aspect of the murals that have really caught my attention is the painting technique used to execute each idea. Looking at a lot of the murals up close, I have been able to distinguish between the paint strokes and spray paint that has been used to form different compositions for each painting. Also taking into consideration the type of surface that each mural has been done on, it has further opened my eyes to the level of skill that a lot of these anonymous painters have.

I would encourage students in San Jose to take out more time to really observe the art that is displayed on a lot of walls in the city, much of which can be found downtown. For me, taking the time out to do this has made me more aware of the culture in this country and is a form of connection that I can have with someone that I don´t know, just being able relate myself to what it is they have to say visually.

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"I became way more curious about the world, I want to travel more now, I want to meet more people, learn more things, and I’ve made a lot of friends both Costa Rican and American and from all over the world"

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