Jesus Mejia

Costa Rica, b.1999

Lives and works in Heredia, Costa Rica

First prize winner of The Francisco Amighetti National Visual Arts Awards, 2023. Jesus Mejia’s work revolves around creating analogies rooted in social violence, often incorporating Catholic imagery. His artistic approach, which he refers to as a contemporary neo-academicism, involves weaving intense narratives through figurative language. Inspired by Baroque and tenebrism, Mejia employs powerful light and dark contrasts to highlight the stark social disparities that exist in contemporary society. Rather than attempting to moralise his figures, Mejia transforms these contrasts into dramatic symbols, exposing societal issues through symbolic representation.

Growing up in a Catholic household, Mejia draws inspiration from Latin American social contexts, addressing issues of aging and political self-esteem in his art. His paintings serve as a medium to convey his social and political viewpoints, engaging viewers in critical reflection. Mejia’s work delves into the intricacies of everyday life, studying scenes unfolding around him, whether on a bus or during family activities. He meticulously documents these moments through photographs and notes, using them as references to inform his paintings.

Mejia has exhibited widely across Costa Rica as well as internationally, including at the José Figueres Ferrer Cultural Center and the Central Bank Museums in San José, as well as at Nova Bella Sala gallery in Barcelona, Spain. In addition to his painting, Mejia is a conservation and restoration apprentice, which emphasises his commitment to the preservation and understanding of artistic heritage. Emerging as a prominent figure in the Costa Rican art scene, Mejia invites viewers to confront and contemplate the complexities of contemporary existence.

Jesus Mejia in his studio, 2024 (Photography by Julio Sequeira)