Gilberto Ramírez Chaves

Costa Rica, b.1970

Lives and works in San José, Costa Rica

Gilberto Ramírez Chaves stands as an exemplar of contemporary hyperrealism. His work blurs the line between reality and illusion, serving as reflections of his personal worldview as he delves into themes of intimacy, loneliness, and the enigmatic aspects of life and death. Influenced by artists like Joaquín Soroya, Rembrandt and Diego Velásquez, Ramírez Chaves depicts figures rendered intimately from a personal vantage point, from adults, children and to the female nude. He also paints landscapes, which capture the rich Costa Rican scenery and the animals who call it their home.

Adopting a mathematical approach to his painting, Ramírez Chaves contemplates proportions and the revered “Golden Ratio”, a mathematical equation based on natural patterns that has been used by artists for centuries to create balanced compositions of order and symmetry. “I am always considering proportions to reveal the innate perfection found in nature,” explains Ramírez Chaves.

His new body of work embraces a freer, abstract aesthetic where his canvases come alive with a synthesis of colours and shapes, imagining new atmospheres that celebrate the essence of natural forms, such as ferns, aquatic plants and birds.

Ramírez Chaves has exhibited extensively within Costa Rica and on the international stage. Having held a teaching position at the University of Costa Rica, he has also been actively engaged in supporting communities and schools in vulnerable areas within Costa Rica. Membership in the Taller de Dibujantes Eclécticos and his involvement in the inception of the Association of Figurative Painters of Costa Rica (APF) reflect his dedication to the artistic community. Notably, he has received prestigious awards such as the Hugo Díaz and an Honoris Causa Doctorate.

Gilberto Ramírez Chaves in his studio, 2023 (Photography by Julio Sequeira)