"VENDEDORES DE FRUTAS"
OIL ON CANVAS, SIGNED
COSTA RICA, EXHIBITED IN THE U.S, DATED 1983
19 X 25 INCHES
Rafael Ángel Fernández Piedra
He was born on October 24th in 1935, in a home in Barrio La Constructora, on the southern side of the capital.
. He was the fourth son of Claudio and Silvia.
1950 - 1953: After 15 years of outside games and bullfights, he entered the “Casa del Artista “(Home of the Artists); Quico Quirós, Paco Amighetti, Lucho Ranucci, Carlos Salazar and Dinorah Bolandi would be his teachers.
1954: For the first time and in the National Theater Rafa exhibited 11 paintings. On this occasion he shared the show with Claudio Monge.
1957: The first individual exhibition of Rafa’s (at this time he signed Rangel) was in the Arlequín Theater. The critics were more than generous and his works were reviewed by many of the country’s intellectuals.
1958: Thanks to a scholarship in January, he traveled to Nicaragua to study in the “Escuela de Bellas Artes” in Managua (the School of Fine Arts) under the master Rodrigo Peñalba.
1961: He participated as a guest in the First Art Festival organized by Grupo Ocho. After seeing his painting the master Manuel de la Cruz insisted on meeting him and invited him to be a part of his Workshop.
1968: “The Dirección General de Artes y Letras” gives him a scholarship to travel to Spain for the first time. There he has exhibitions and begins to work in the circle of Fine Arts in Madrid and wins first prize in a drawing contest organized by the association.
1971: Between April and May, in Knox and Campbell Galleries, in Arizona, he held what would be his first series of individual shows in the United States. Two years later, he held an exhibition in the Gallery of the Pan-American Union of the OAS in Washington D.C. Since then, he has held more than six shows in this country.
1972: He won for the second time, the National Prize in Painting “Aquileo Echeverría”. In 1968, he was the winner but because he disagreed with the jury he rejected the award.
1974: He created a mural of 45 x 2.5 meters for the Clinic Marcial Fallas in Desamparados (C.R) titled “Alegoría al trabajo” (Allegory to work)
1975: He again received the National Prize in Painting “Aquileo Echeverría” and declared “the first prize flattered me, the second stimulated me but the third embarrassed me.”
1976-1978: He took courses in Artistic Lithograph in the Centro Regional de Artes Gráfica (CREAGRAF), he alternatively exhibited paintings and graphic work in Panama, Nicaragua, Germany, Great Britain and also Costa Rica and created the “Parque de la Expresión “(Park of Expression) Sunday encounters in art, music and theater for children and adolescents.
1981: This year he exhibited around 90 works of art in the Institute of International Culture in Honduras ( Instituto Hondureño de Cultura Interamericana), in the Galería Arte 80 in Panamá, and in the Eleanor Jeck Gallery in Arizona. In these paintings the ethereal women begin to appear and that now populate so many of his paintings suggesting nostalgia, serenity and indifference.
1982: He created an association with the artists Otto Apuy, Edwin Cantillo and Gerardo González and later joining Álvaro Bracci and Mariano Prado. He was invited to paint a mural of 2 x 4 meters for the Museum Vial Rafael Bogarín in Venezuela.
1983: In addition to many exhibits in and out of the country, he published a book with visual stories “Psicorafismos” and created the “Museo de la Miniatura” (Miniature Museum).
1983: Exhibited at the Eleamor Jeck Gallery in Tuson, the name of the exhibition was "Damas en el Tiempo".
1985: He moved to Spain where he had successful exhibits in places such as the Galerías Infantas, in Madrid, and Gaudí, in Barcelona. There he won prizes such as in Santiago en el 52 Salón de Otoño in the Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid and in Galerías Preciados.
1987: He had an exhibit in the United Nations in Washington. His paintings caused such intense emotions that one of the spectators destroyed one of the paintings.
1989: One year after returning to Costa Rica he created a mural of 5.20 x2.10 meters celebrating the country’s one hundred years of democracy. Its name is “The Patria” and is exhibited in the Club Unión.
1990: All of the press announced: The painting, “the Caravana”, by Rafa Fernández was sold in 1.000.000.! This initiated a market that in the following decades no other national artist has achieved.
1992: He exhibited in Maison de l’Amerique Latine in París, France. The sculptors José Sancho and Jorge Jiménez Deredia completed the show.
1998: The Museum José Luis Cuevas in México, The Museum Ralli of Contemporary Art in Punta del Este, Uruguay “the Museum of Hombre” en Quito, Ecuador, invited him to form a permanent part of their collections.
2001: His work, “Eterno femenino”, painted for the National Theater, the maximum coliseum of arts in the country, became his eternal legacy to Costa Ricans. This same year he was invited to the 49th Edition de la Bienal in Venice.
2002 He received the Magón award, the maximum award given for his life-time contributions in Costa Rican culture.
2004: In The Museum of Arte Costarricense exhibited: “Magia, pasión y ensueños”, an exhibit of 60 paintings of the artist.
2005: The work “La mirada furtiva”, in which Rafa Fernández showed 36 oleos in a small format constituted a rebirth for the artist. This same year he was invited to permanently exhibit a self-portrait in the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence Italy. There his painting is shown along with other immortal artists such as Chagall, Rembrandt and Delacroix.
2009: His exhibition, “Lunas del silencio” In the Museum Calderón Guardia was a complete success: 25 oleos in a large format presented a new facet in Rafa’s career, an expressionist and free to create. Six months later the VIII Edición de Valoarte gave him homage dedicating a complete hall to the exhibition of some of his more recent works: small and medium oleos that marked the genesis “Pequeñas voces nocturnas. “ It was a show that celebrated the closing of a prolific year of the artist.
2010: He presented an anthological show of his lithographic work in the halls of the Corte Suprema de Justicia. He exhibited 25 of his latest work in the Sala Kaleidoscopio and inaugurated in Octubre the work “Alquimia“for the Galería Arthis of Guatemala which celebrate his 60 years of his artistic career.
Fernandez passed away in San Jose, Costa Rica on September 9, 2018.