Rafael Sáenz Rodríguez

Typical Costa Rica Farm paint
Typical Costa Rica Farm paint

Although Costa Rica is a small country in Central America, it still has a large influence on the culture and current events going on around the world. There are many prominent people living and working in Costa Rica who are doing their part to define the unique sense of Costa Rica culture. One person to pay attention to who is making a mark on the Costa Rica art scene and today’s current events is Rafael Sáenz Rodríguez. Rodríguez is one of the most important voices in contemporary Costa Rican art today. He is also a noteworthy individual in international society.

A Lawyer and Diplomat

Rodríguez is not just a talented Costa Rican artist; he is also a person who has carved out his influence by working toward issues in the international community. He is a professionally-trained lawyer and has been in the Costa Rica Bar Association since 2003. More recently, Rodríguez has begun making a name for himself as an international diplomat. His country designated him as the consul to the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador on June 1, 2006. When he’s not representing Costa Rica in international affairs or practicing law, Rodríguez is working on his first love, art.

Exhibitions and Features

In the past few years, there have been a variety of places art aficionados could visit to check out some of Rodríguez’s famous pieces. Today, his art is displayed in several private collections of prominent people, such as the king of Spain. Additionally, the city council of Córdoba currently displays his paintings. His work has been featured in parts of Costa Rica, Spain and France since 2000.

In Costa Rica, Rodríguez’s work has been shown three different times at noteworthy art spot, Gallery Kandinsky in the capital city. In Costa Rica’s National Theater, Rodríguez’s work has been showcased through his show called “Anonymous Objects” at the Joaquín García Monge Gallery. Outside of his native Costa Rica, Rodríguez has been featured in Paris and Córdoba, Spain. In Paris, his artwork has been shown at Le Salon in 2004. Rodríguez also highlighted his work through an innovative show in Córdoba called “Only.”

Early Life and Education

Rodríguez was born on February 27, 1977. His parents Fernando Sáenz Cuesta and Olga Rodríguez Bolaños encouraged him to develop his talent for art since an early age. Once he turned 18, Rodríguez started to get more serious about his love of art. He became a student under the top Costa Rican artists and worked on perfecting his craft. He attended the University of Costa Rica in 1995 and learned general art techniques from prominent art teacher Loida Pretiz. He also began studying other more specific artistic techniques, such as woodcutting, monotyping and metal engraving. His teachers included Rudy Espinoza and Adolfo Siliézar. Rodríguez was also fortunate enough to study outside of Costa Rica and took classes in Córdoba and Madrid in Spain at Circulo de Bellas Artes and Talleres Internacionales de Arte Contemporáneo.

Recognition and Achievement

Rodríguez’s work has been recognized on numerous occasions because of his talent and interesting point of view. Every two years, Costa Rica holds a competition for the top pieces of art in the country. This event, called Bienarte, has featured Rodríguez’s work. At this competition, Rodríguez was chosen to display his work three different times. In 2005, Rodríguez took the top prize at the competition. This recognition qualified him for an international art competition, the 2006 Bienal Centroamerica in El Salvador.

The world of Costa Rican art is vast and diverse with many famous names contributing to a unique voice and culture. Rafael Sáenz Rodríguez is someone to learn about and be on the lookout for if you appreciate fine art and the Costa Rican perspective for visual arts.

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