Carlos Llobet Artist’s Statement
I’m a Costa Rican printmaker, strongly influenced by street art as well as German Expressionism. Currently, I’m exploring the idea of going beyond the printed editions but still maintaining the intrinsic characteristic of multiplicity in print media to create compositions and unique works of art using collage, painting and weaving the prints; this came about from his need to express new ideas that couldn’t be done in traditional print media.
A significant theme is the portrayal of life in the streets of his home, San José. The prints are a snapshot of the people who earn a living by doing informal jobs, lottery salespeople, shoe shiners, street musicians and car watchmen among many others. By using this subject matter, I intend to bring to the forefront the plight of those who are struggling economically in an ever-increasing world where the gap between the upper class and the lower is widening.
For the last year and a half, I have been exploring this widening gap between the rich and the poor and how the history of Latin America has perpetuated this economic inequality; as well furthering the exploration on the limits he can take printmaking, not just in size but also in its application for installations and public art.
The intention to shine a light on the shrinking middle class of Costa Rica, a segment of the population who is burdened with supporting through taxation corrupt politicians and corporation, but at the same time bombarded nonstop through the media with mages of a lifestyle that is increasingly harder to achieve.
My recent work consists of large format relief prints of people, he has encountered back in his home country of Costa Rica. The human figures are carved in a realistic manner and printed by hand on fabric. The characters are printed individually, which creates the opportunity for an infinite number of different compositions in which they can be arranged and create different narratives depending on the combination of figures.
This new work will be a five to seven-year project where I will continuously add more figures to create a more complex relationship between the prints, space and the audience. I intend to display the figures in outside areas through public interventions.