Federico Herrero (b.1978) is regarded as one of the most important figures in Central American contemporary art. His artistic work is particularly influenced by the political and cultural traditions and powerful natural fecundity of his native Costa Rica, where he still lives and works.
Herrero transfers the colors and forms of the lush landscape surrounding his home city of San José to walls and canvases. At the same time we can sense an intense interplay between geometric and organic forms in the space between figuration and abstraction. Herrero is fascinated by the interface between culture and nature, and carefully monitors Costa Rica’s urban environment, which often seems on the verge of being reclaimed by the seemingly unstoppable vegetation. This can clearly be seen in many of the artist's site-specific works, where a staircase or the corner of a room may be "taken over" by invasive shapes and surfaces. He mixes the region's tradition of mural painting with multifarious sources of inspiration such as street signs, advertisements, graffiti, tropical plants, multicoloured (rural) houses, and non-language-based shapes, symbols and icons from the cityscape. All of this combines to create an unusual blend of traditional and folkloric elements in sophisticated abstract forms.
In 2001 Herrero was awarded the prize for Best Young Artist at the Venice Biennale and his work is represented in a number of museums and public collections around the world, including Mudam Luxembourg; the Santander Museum, Spain; and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan.