The Costa Rican sculptor Jorge Jiménez Deredia brings a message of hope to Genoa, Italy, with “The sphere between two worlds”, an exhibition with unpublished works made by the artist during the Pandemic.
A total of eight monumental marble and bronze sculptures adorn the port city, in the quest to recover the optimism and enthusiasm of the Italians, characterized by being art lovers, and who, like the rest of the world, have had to face a devastating health crisis.
In an interview, Jiménez Deredia expressed that his “art is not dramatic, of death or anguish” and on the contrary “it is of hope, of integration with the whole”, which is reflected in the exhibition since his works have as a backdrop the squares, stations, alleys, and the old port.
“It is a positive message; I was going to give a different tone to the city. My art is not dramatic, it is an art that works on the integration of shadow and light to arrive at a positive idea of life, of the cosmic participation, of the oceanic sense, that we belong to the universe, to nature, that is to say, this circularity that in addition to integrating perfectly with the architecture of Genoa, has the sea, nature and these spherical shapes”, said the artist.
The sample was originally scheduled for March but had to be suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak that forced Italy to apply a mandatory closure to prevent the spread of the virus.
However, in all the sadness due to the number of daily deaths, the Costa Rican thought that “he had art in his hands to sing to life” and put his strength in the creation of three new works: El Viaje, Encanto – of three tons- and Refugio, all made of white marble, which joins the bronze ones: Couple, Twilight, Evolution, Continuation, and Lullaby.
“I dedicated myself to working 12 hours a day because there was nothing else to do, you couldn’t even go out the door (…). We made two pieces that are like a ship because they represent the journey of life. This brings reminiscences of a whole long journey that is within us and the sea, which is also the idea of the trip. That is why these sculptures have the sea and the port as their background,” said Deredia.
Also, for municipal authorities, outdoor exposure offered the possibility, during the pandemic, of being able to stop to observe a work of art without the danger of being infected, without crowds, and without the risks of a closed space.
“I worked with enthusiasm knowing that as soon as the most serious moment passed I could take those works to the city and that people would share them, touch them and take photos, it seems a lie but psychologically that means a lot, and that has given a bit of joy and it has filled me with great satisfaction,” he said.
The Sphere between Two Worlds
The exhibition “The sphere between two worlds” highlights a special link between the Italian city and Costa Rica, since Christopher Columbus, of Genoese origin, arrived in Costa Rica on his fourth trip in 1502.
“200 meters from where the sculptures are, Christopher Columbus was born, and Columbus, for better or for worse, arrived in Costa Rica in 1502 and after so long that a Costa Rican returned to the city where he was born and present an exhibition of this type, great, it has a meaning, an exchange of this spherical vision that Columbus had of the world “, said Jiménez Deredia, who shares that thought of the universality of the sphere.
The sculptor has expressed that his work is inspired by the mysterious pre-Columbian stone spheres of the Boruca indigenous people of southern Costa Rica, and they represent, in his opinion, “a spherical circular vision of the human being.”
The exhibition is a production of the Municipality of Genoa, which is sponsored by EsseLunga, the National Energy Agency of Italy, and the Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo. The Costa Rican has exhibitions scheduled in several cities in Italy, such as Pisa and Piombino, as well as the State of San Marino.
Jiménez Deredia, born in 1954, has held major exhibitions in Italy, Mexico, and the United States, in which he has sought to convey his message of peace and hope through art. Also, he was the first Latin American artist to place one of his works in the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican.