Meet The Tico Artist To Whom Samsung Awarded A Place In the Hall of Fame of Its PENUP Platform

    Mario Roberto Phillips has a charming story, he is the pride of Costa Rica and, from his point of view, he details that, in art, the technical aspect is important to go beyond the limits, that technique is an aid to creativity...

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    Socrates said that art not only represents the body, but also the soul, and looking at it from today’s perspective, that definition still holds and artists we have interviewed here at TCRN have confirmed it through their points of view.

    Recently, we had the pleasure to talk with the artist from Tibás, San José, Mario Roberto Phillips, who shared his story, essence, talent, and purposes.

    For the artist, art today is in the process of finding new media and trends, “in some cases rediscovering classical realism and in others, fearlessly exploring the possibilities of modern art. For me, art is a visual language through which each artist creates projections of his or her inner self, this has personally been a very natural process and a positive impact by having a medium to express my ideas”.

    Mario is a Tico who has always lived in Tibás, where he has fond memories, to mention one of them, learning to ride a bicycle.

    If we talk about teachings, many of them come from our parents and the artist emphasized that he keeps in his life: to be polite, and cautious and to treat others well, which today he is especially grateful to his parents.

    And, if we talk about pillars in our life, Mario highlighted “knowing that God is in control of everything, my family and friends”.

    What inspires you about Costa Rica? He is inspired by the landscapes, the peacefulness of the countryside, its colors, and also its people.

    About what or who led him to art, everything comes from childhood, a natural inclination, he told us that he was always drawing, “my grandmother took my drawings and put them on her wall, that was key”.

    He has taken drawing courses at La Casa del Artista, the UCCART; he spent a short time at the Atelier del Sol and has also taken online courses at the New Masters Academy.

    Phillips likes to paint in oils and acrylics, he also does digital painting, which is a medium that is very misunderstood by many people,” he said. He is grateful for his knowledge to his artistic mentors, as well as the great painters of history, “each one contributes an important piece of the puzzle, as well as his exploration”.


    It is worth mentioning that Roberto has worked teaching drawing in art schools: The School of Arts of San Pablo and the Costa Rican Chinese Cultural and Educational Center, he has also made illustrations for books, coloring comics for Costa Rican and U.S. artists, commissioned portraits and online classes in traditional and digital drawing.

    What can you tell us about making art today? What is needed beyond creativity, because now there are so many digital platforms and of course, times have changed? Regarding the question we asked the Costa Rican painter, he emphasized: that the refreshing art is the one that does not imitate others but rather the one that has already found and matured its artistic language. In his opinion, the technical aspect is important to go beyond the limits, -technique is an aid to creativity- “The platforms are something that works for some, but not for others, the artistic fashions of social networks can overshadow the originality in many cases, on the other hand, many have made them a space to show and sell their art”.

    A significant artistic career…

    The works he has created can be seen in oil and acrylic, also digitally (with the use of the computer, tablet, and even his cell phone). He enjoys working his works in pencil, ink, and charcoal; besides portraits, he has focused on fantasy and abstract themes “which I like very much” he said.

    So far, he has participated in an exhibition as part of the group Sección Áurea of the Continental University of Sciences and Arts. In that exhibition, she exhibited several oil paintings.

    He paints murals, as well as the one he did for the “Queen’s Birthday Party” (National Day of the United Kingdom).

    Today, Mario has the satisfaction of having received recognition thanks to drawing workshops in which he has participated and a virtual exhibition organized by an Italian group of artists.

    Phillips is the Costa Rican artist who had the privilege of being interviewed by the team of the website PENUP, an artistic network that belongs to Samsung, which also gave him a place in the hall of fame of its platform, in recognition of his digital paintings, which caught the attention of the curators of the site. 

    The artist mentioned that he made a portrait of several generations of a family in pencil on a surface of 1 meter by 70 centimeters, the client wanted him to portray them as if they were Mount Rushmore. Also, two rather large murals of Costa Rican animals for a Chinese restaurant in San Jose.

    A multifaceted artist

    Mario Roberto Phillips is a multifaceted artist, he does not only draw, he loves taking pictures, going out with friends, exercising, and wood carving, he has an innate gift for lyrical singing and languages.

    He admires Costa Rican entrepreneurs who are not afraid to start from scratch, and he admires the great masters of painting such as Anthony Van Dyck, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rafael Sanzio, Valentin Serov, Ilya Repin, and Jean Baptiste Greuze.

    How does Mario envision himself professionally?

    In the future, Mario plans to have his own space (a studio) where he can paint and draw and also have a gallery.

    He wants to hold a solo exhibition. Regarding learning, he tries to be in constant training, to enrich the art he makes.

    We are pleased to make known the stories of Ticos like Mario Roberto, who beyond being talented in what he does, has dreams and we predict a wonderful future for him.

    He ended with some special words: “First I thank TCRN for this opportunity to share my story and also to those who have supported me in this artistic journey, encouraging me to continue acquiring knowledge and having experiences to share through art.

    If you want to know more about Mario’s work, you can watch his videos on Youtube: , you can also follow him onInstagram: @dibujo_sin_limites_mp and @mpdigital_estudio and on LinkedIn: .

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