Mask Artist Painter - Boruca, Costa Rica
“I identify with the beetle as while it is very small, it has the capacity to lift 100 times its own weight. It reminds me that regardless of how small or big problems may be, with strength and perseverance we can overcome any obstacles.”
Born in 1980, Marcos is a master Borucan artist, equipped with a bold imagination, years of carving experience, and exceptional painting skills. “I was fortunate to study traditional mask-making under Don Ismael, the great teacher. In the mid-1990s after seeing how the new colorful masks were growing in popularity, I taught myself how to paint.”
Marcos is a proud ambassador for Boruca and has been a visiting artist at Selby Gardens several times. “Creating these masks allows me to discover myself and my culture. My design process is often spontaneous. Suddenly, a spark of an idea comes to me, and the first thing I do is to trace it with my finger so I can record it in my mind.”
He is passionate about their ancestral heritage and enjoys visiting archeological sites to gain inspiration for his art. “Boruca has a long tradition, and in our history, there is always the mysticism of the jaguar, the owl as protector of the night, and frogs that are so beautiful and represent life. So, I always keep those elements in mind when I want to design something.”
His drive also comes from a desire to share his culture and build bridges among people. Together with his wife Sugey, they give art workshops in Borucan and throughout Costa Rica to share with others their rich cultural heritage.