During Week 1, I threw down my first of what will probably be many challenges to myself during this year: to get to know the stories of Costa Rican artists and support their work at a time when art is a particularly important antidote or vehicle for change. Well, meet Raudyn. I’ve never met him in person, but his work makes me smile. Raised in the province of Heredia, he picked coffee as a child alongside his grandparents, as did so many Costa Ricans during that time, and has dedicated much of his artistic life to showcasing the unique role of the “golden grain” in the country’s life.
I love his paintings’ trademark shapes and spirals that cut the classic scenes into new patterns. I love the way he applied this same approach to Michael Jordan preparing for a dunk. I love the way he sees his art not as a throwback to a lost time, but as a reminder that the values that used to unite us – in this case, Costa Ricans – are still out there. As he said in an interview I edited while at The Tico Times, his work “applauds our ancestors, but I must also applaud today’s Costa Ricans. To the tico who still feels humble. The tico who… keeps working. There are still ticos like that and I applaud that.”
Insert your own nationality to the statement above: lather, rinse, repeat. Thank you, Raudyn. And if you share my desire to hang a piece of his work in your home one day, enter his raffle! Just visit his Instagram account.
I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or Facebook!