To Ana Wien, cows represent both life and nature – especially in Costa Rica. Her affection for cows encouraged her to turn cattle into works of art.
An exhibition at the Confort Suizo bedding showroom in Plaza Itzkazú in the western San José suburb of Escazú opened last week, displaying Wien’s project, in which sculptures of cows symbolize concepts like springtime, magic and the sea.
Wien has always appreciated the importance of cows to society. She saw them as a perfect theme for a collection of sculptures about life.
“They’re very important, these animals,” Wien said. “They make the milk, they are a gentle animal. I enjoy the concept of the cows. They are beautiful animals.”
There are 18 cows in total. The first cow visitors see is the largest. A life-size replica of a big, blue cow with a red underbelly greets customers in the parking lot. Inside, Wien’s artwork – which also includes various handbags and purses she designed, as well as paintings – decorate the mattress store.
The sculptures are made out of resin and colorful splashes of acrylic paint. In addition to the life-size cow, 10 medium-sized bovines (50 x 35 centimeters) and eight small ones (25 x 15 centimeters) are placed around the store.
A cow sculpture called “Imitation Spring,” features a sky blue cow with paintings of flowers lining the animal’s side. A miniature butterfly has landed on the bovine’s back.
One called “Path full of life” has a tribal feel. A bleached white cow has colorful markings and patterns all over its body. Only the horns and udders are shaded in; both are blue. Three small flowers dot the top of the cows head, giving the creature an aura of holiness.
Another cow representing the ocean is drenched in deep shades of blue. Conch shells are stuck to the cow’s back. Props such as tiny frogs, turtles or little bottles of milk add to many of the sculptures. The vivid acrylic colors bring out each cow’s poise.
Wien, who studied at the University of Costa Rica, has painted and sculpted for 33 years. In 2005, she won awards for her artwork in both Miami and New York.
The exhibition runs through September 3. Confort Suizo is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.