Living colour

From his studio in San José, artist Federico Herrero shares his vibrant vision for the UBS lounge at Art Basel

‘There’s something I absorb from the Central Americas region,’ explains Federico Herrero. ‘People are just so confident with colour – it fascinates me.’ The artist, who has been based in Costa Rica for 14 years, was recently commissioned for the UBS lounge at Art Basel (13-16 June), bringing his vibrant vision to the Swiss art fair. Herrero worked on-site to create a monumental 11m abstract wall painting, which was accompanied by a suite of five new works. His colourful canvases are inspired by Costa Rica’s rich social and architectural tapestry: take San José for instance, its orange and cadmium yellow-studded buildings echoed in the artist’s paintings. Saddled between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, however, Costa Rica is falling victim to the disastrous effects of climate change. In response to the influx of plastic threatening the country’s coastline, Herrero created a series of mono prints which were displayed at the UBS Art Studio during the fair, alongside a presentation dedicated to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.;