Guillermo Tovar Carazo

Costa Rica, b.1977

Lives and works in Escazú, Costa Rica

Guillermo Tovar Carazo’s work is a blend of contemporary realism and esoteric enchantment, conjuring fantastical worlds where the line between reality and the supernatural blurs. Drawing inspiration from the rich natural beauty of Costa Rica's landscapes, Tovar Carazo's art captures the essence of the country's lush forests, serene rivers, and colourful flowers, infusing them with an enigmatic and otherworldly quality. With a deep-rooted interest in esoteric realms spanning over twenty-five years, Tovar Carazo uses painting as a medium to transcend the mundane, consistently weaving spiritual and hermetic elements into his compositions.

In addition, Tovar Carazo’s work bears the marks of his childhood fascination with 1980s fantasy movies, such as “Gremlins” and “Ghostbusters”. These cinematic influences manifest in his paintings, where dragons, crystals and unnerving new creatures come to life, like fairy tales, introducing a sinister edge into otherwise colourful and cheerful worlds. Each painting serves as a visual journey full of concealed details, ranging from watchful eyeballs nestled in foliage to rocks metamorphosing into limbs.

In his most recent collection, Tovar Carazo employs his distinctive playful style to capture the essence of Costa Rica’s coastal scenes. Injecting personality into the boats bobbing in the water or the trees lining the oceanfront, Tovar Carazo not only showcases Costa Rica’s shores, but also creates evocative narratives. The compositions hint at human presence quietly leaving us alone with the subject to form our own relationships.

Tovar Carazo’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France, the Seoul Museum of Contemporary Art in South Korea and at La Casa Encendida in Madrid. He has also shown extensively across Costa Rica, most recently at Matices Gallery in San José.

Guillermo Tovar Carazo in his studio, 2023 (Photography by Maricruz Tovar Carazo)

"I’m always searching for ways to surprise myself through my images. If I am going to surprise people, I must surprise myself first." Tovar Carazo, 2023