A brief but powerful example of Soto’s decades of work is presented in the University Council Gallery.
All of a sudden you want to grab tin cans or pieces of iron or brass to move on to the next level of interaction with the artwork.
Some of these pieces of metal are of a very rough nature and yet they have been placed with great precision and skill. Most of the 24 works that make up the exhibition Material Woman They move fluidly between the abstract and the figurative.
“This is my quest,” the artist openly admits, “I want to express something, I don’t just stick them, because I’m always looking for something in the sky, in the stars,” added, “Reaching Astro Sun” is at the University Assembly Gallery from December 1st. It is on display on two floors.
“What is trash to some is treasure to me.”
As the name of the exhibition suggests, he has also worked in sculpture, collage, oil painting, metal engraving, watercolor, and even published a collection of Costa Rican proverbs and is a retrospective of Soto’s work in material painting over three decades. He worked as the director of the Jade Museum.
As the curator María Fe Alpízar Durán explains, the item picture is a part of World War II. to extremes with the breaking of form, abstract and gestural”.
What was life like for that girl, adolescent, young woman with creative concerns and artistic vocation in Cartago of the 50s, 60s and 70s?
— It is very difficult, I broke the paradigms of art that existed at that time. People said to me “but you don’t paint, you don’t paint”.
I originally graduated from the sculpture department, I wanted to change everything and so I was a very active girl back then.
How necessary is it to disrupt plans to make art?
– It is a requirement of a born artist, because when I studied painters and sculptors, I realized that those who stand out the most are those who do not follow others, but rather do fearlessly what springs from them.
Of course, if you’re a trader, you do what people love: draw landscapes, draw a human figure, what sells best because they want a human figure in the house in many colors and that’s why I chose it. Art that is almost monochrome with junk and things people throw in the trash, I go back to their garbage and do what’s good for me. So what is trash for some is treasure for me.
How hard is it for a woman to break those schemas or look for her own voice aesthetically?
– Worse still, when I started I was doing my job, back then only men were spoken. The elders were Paco Amighetti, Manuel de la Cruz González, Paco Zúñiga, and the only women considered were Margarita Bertheau and Lola Fernández, with the exceptions, and it was difficult for them too, but much more for them. I. I think I was known a little more until recently, because at that time, for example, a book was written about Costa Rican sculptors, I had just graduated from Fine Arts, I had done my job, they never mention me. It was very difficult.
Yes, I swam upstream, but I also found people on the other side of the river who admired me and followed me and surprised me when they said, “oh, I like your paintings”, because usually my Friends don’t really like what I do, they say they wish I’d done something happier, more flashy, and did my job. They find it a little sad.
Your art is multifaceted and has a wealth of exploration, of course, but how much did it cost you to find your aesthetic path?
—I did metal sculpture and engraving for a while. I had a scholarship to study in France and I couldn’t leave because of so many sad things in life, so I didn’t want to go back to sculpting because I wanted to make a radical change in my life and make it very modern. statue.
I dedicate myself to looking for what to do in my life, where to go in art. That’s when Carlos Moya Barahona came from Spain under the influence of all the material painters, (Antoni) Tàpiez, (Manolo) Millares, (Luis) Feito, and then we were fascinated with commercial paint and scrap metal, sand, fabrics and whatever we wanted. And I said, “This is my job”. At that moment, I knew where I was going and I didn’t care about criticism or anything.
There was a period when I devoted myself to the Jade Museum, which I directed for 30 years, but I never stopped painting mine, never.
When I retired it became easier for me to work on the things I loved and I kept going, never giving up on doing the things I always loved. I’m innovating because the TV shows are different, I did TV shows about climate change, about UFO sightings that I really like because I saw UFOs once in the 60s.
they called him fairy godmother of national rock
—Yes, also, because I painted rock and peace and love. it was an article People. I really like rock, especially classical, The Doors, Jimy Hendrix, of course the Beatles, Elvis Presley, I just grew up with all that, that was my style.
To what extent does this genre of music affect the aesthetic path you choose?
—For example, The Doors are like nostalgic songs, and I think my painting is a bit nostalgic, (the pieces in the exhibition) a bit nostalgic, like the archeology of the time, because I’m trying to capture some moments that I lived. Let’s be a little frank.
Because your work is so intimate and nostalgic, isn’t it harder to expose it to the public?
“Sure, but in disguise.” It’s not like poetry, it’s like a striptease, because it’s very clear and everyone understands what you’re saying.
How did this new exhibition come about?
—See how sad what I have to say is. When I turned 50 after leaving university, I wanted to exhibit in Fine Arts, but then they told me there was no space, that was around 2017. Director Erick (Hidalgo) told Luis Paulino (Delgado) to find me a place. They gave me a room next to the Rectorate, but then they transferred me to Harfler and we held the exhibition there, but with very little publicity and it was like a corridor, everyone said “how barbaric you are exhibiting here, there is no one”. That’s when they sent me an invitation to join the Council’s new gallery, that was Patricia Fumero. I wanted to exhibit watercolors at the time but they told me they had done many watercolor exhibitions before, they wanted other techniques and they knew my collages and material painting, if I did They said they would be very happy. It exhibited these paintings better.
I told them that I don’t have a new exhibition and they said it’s okay, let’s do a retrospective, and I really like the idea, I’m happy, it’s a thousand times better.