Calvo’s work is marked by a certain nostalgia, exploring how the ruins, defeats, and sorrows of life shape how we perceive others, face our experiences, and succumb to the archetypes that precede us. Yet he remains political, carving critiques and observations into his work that allow him to strategically comment the world he inhabits, and propel it someplace new.
Therein lies the promise of Javier Calvo: he is never afraid to hope for something better. The spaces he constructs embrace art’s critical potential and memorial power to lead our imaginations elsewhere, always hoping to catch a glimpse of some possible utopia – whether it be rooted in the haunting echo of days past or the familiar promise of those to come.
Javier Calvo is the recipient of the 2018 Random Institute Travel Award.Javier Calvo has had solo shows at MADC Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo de Costa Rica (San José), Galería Nacional (San José), Kiosko Galería (Santa Cruz de la Sierra), and Réunion (San José). His works have been on display at LAXART (Los Angeles), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Sies + Höke (Düsseldorf), Despacio (San José), Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam (Havana), Teor/éTica (San José), Bienal de Curitiba (Curitiba), Bienal de Pontevedra (Pontevedra), Central American Biennial (Limón), and Bienal Internacional de Asunción (Asunción). He won the Random Institute Travel Award, the Salón Nacional art prize at the Museo de Arte Costarricense and the National Award J. Aquileo Echeverrí.