Jhafis Quintero

Jhafis Quintero lives and works in Verona (Italy). In tandem with his art practice, which began in the 90s, he has been working at TEOR/éTica since he played an active role in the Estrecho Dudoso mega-project by managing the Kiosk space in the Central Park Costa RIca.

He is currently in charge of the library and of attending to and orienting visitors. He formed part of the Al Margen workshop, conducted at the La Reforma Penitentiary in Costa Rica. While in prison he took part in national art contests and exhibitions in San José with pieces that were awarded honorary mentions. On regaining his freedom in 2002, he alternated between working as a restaurant waiter and his art practice, then went on to pursue studies in audiovisual production at the National Learning Institute.

His prison experience plays a leading role in his work, both collective and individual. His first piece from this period, in dubia tempora (2005), carried out collectively with writer María Montero, has been widely exhibited as an artist’s coffee-table book with images of objects and instruments made using forbidden or waste materials from Costa Rican jails. Obsessively refined, polished and elegant and accompanied by intelligent, ironic texts, the images approach the subject in an unexpected, original way, while playing on the language of criminal causes.

There is a peculiar perception of the passing of time and its implications for a body immersed in that particular time frame, a question of physical and mental limits, and a constant reflection on death that glides over the lives of inmates and the Egresados (the Leavers), the title of another 2007 work, a photo montage that commemorates disappeared fellow inmates in an urban landscape consisting of mausoleums in the General Cemetery.

His art practice thus stems from his personal experiences in the world of incarceration, silence, insecurity, but also imagination and creativity directed at finding means of survival. He is able to create lucidly escapist structures while constantly maintaining an ironic and even humorous outlook that prevents him from lapsing into misery and self-pity.

The compendium Máximas de seguridad (Security maxims, 2007) consists of a series of drawings that make up an instruction manual to survive and gain respect in prison, which he distributed at various penitentiaries on visiting days. Quintero is currently working on several audiovisual pieces, a series of 10 videos, a video for each year he was in prison

CV - Jhafis Quintero

Solo shows

2015   Reforma. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.
2014  Cambalache. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.
2014  Ten years in jail. Analix forever Gallery. Genéve, Switzerland.
2013  Sobreviviendo. Diablo Rosso Gallery. Panama
2011  La ley es dura pero es la ley. Galería Despacio Federico Herrero, San José, Costa Rica
2009  El santo del tren. Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica
2008  Egresados. Máximas de seguridad, Hágalo usted mismo, Instituto Panamense de Arte, Curitiba, Brasil
2007  In Dubia Tempora, project of documentary photography, texts and catalogs. San José, Costa Rica
2006  In Dubia Tempora. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Panama
2006  La vida es corta pero puede ser larga mientras dura. Festival Internacional de las Artes, San José, Costa Rica
2004  In Dubia Tempora. Centro Cultural Español, San José, Costa Rica

Group shows

2017     Singolare e Plurale. Palazzo Barolo. Torino, Italy.

2017     Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles / Latin America. Curated by Abraham Cruzvillegas and Gabriel Kuri. Regen Projects. Los Angeles, US.

2017     Dura lex, sed lex. Curated by Juliana Gontijo & Raphael Fonseca. BIENALSUR, Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de América del Sur. Centro Cultural Parque de España. Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.

2016     L’eté Photoraphique De Lectoure: Utopies, Espoirs, Colères. Centre de photographie de Lectoure. Lectoure, France. 
2016     X Bienal Centroamericana. San José, Costa Rica.
2016     La sens de la peine. La Terrase. Espace d’art de Nanterre. Nanterre, France.
2016     Art et Prison. La Terrasse. Espace d’art de Nanterre. Nanterre, France.
2015     10th Mercosul Biennial. Messages From a New America. Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre.

2015     Babel. Terminal, San José, Costa Rica.

2014  La Belle Échappée. Centre d'Art Contemporain Les Châteaus de la Drôme. Montélimar, France.
2014  La Vietnamita. Espacio OTR. Madrid, Spain.
2013  Move Movie - Danse et arts plastiques. Centre-plastiques Yverdon-les-bains, Genéve
2013  Six videoworks from six international private collections. Art and Science Videoinsight® Foundation Turin
2013  Miradas insobornables miradas en presente continuo. Hotel de imigrantes Buenos Aires Argentina
2013 Colección Madc. Aproximaciones Al Espacio. Centro Nacional de la Cultura, San José, Costa Rica.
2013  Biennale di Venezia - 55th International Art Exhibition. La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy.
2013  La hora garrobo. LOOP - The Video Art Fair
2013  We only exist when we communicate. La nuit européenne des musées. Chateau des Adhémar, Montélimar, France.
2013  Ressucita-me, Museu Bispo do Rosario, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
2013  Octava Bienal De Artes Visuales Del Istmo Centroamericano. BAVIC, Panama City, Panama.
2013  Public enemy, Magda Danysz gallery, Paris, France
2013  Art Paris
2012  Extra muros. Bienal Centroamericana, Panama
2012  Los del Patio. Panama.
2012  Reflexiones de emancipación. Galería Metropolitana, Santiago, Chile
2012  Caribbean: Cross Roads of the World. Museo del Barrio, New York, USA
2012  Who More Sci-Fi Than Us, contemporary art from the Caribbean. Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, The Nederlands.
2010  Agenda. Rijksakademie OPEN,Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam,The Nederlands
2010  Utrópicos. XXXI Bienal de Pontevedra, Pontevedra, Spain
2010  Máximas de seguridad, El Contrato del Dibujante. Open Studio of Carlos Garaicoa, Madrid, Spain
2008  Lúdico / Mordaz. Centro Nacional de la Cultura, San José, Costa Rica.
2007 La ruleta de las potencias, El gusto es mío. Bienarte VI, San José, Costa Rica
2007  Estrecho dudoso. Teorética, San José, Costa Rica
2007  4ª Mostra VentoSul. Instituto Paranaense de Arte, Curitiba


Art fairs


2017     ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.

2016     ArtBo. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Bogota, Colombia.

2014     Artissima. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Turin, Italy.

2014     Swab Fair. Analix Forever Gallery. Turin, Italy.

2013     LOOP. Barcelona, Spain.



2010 - 2011 Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, The Nederlands



Public Collections

The Museum of Destiny

CAAM (Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno), Spain.

CNAP (Centre Nacional des artes plastiques), France
MACBA, Spain
MUSAC, Spain
Museu Dragao do Mar, Brasil
Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, Costa Rica
Museo del Barrio, New York, USA

Private Collections

DAROS Collection
Cisneros Collection
Borusan Contemporary Art Collection
Videoinsight® Foundation