Former ad designer now directs his art to women

One of the works in the show opening Saturday.

Óscar Lios turned his back on the advertising business in San José to return to his native Guanacaste and play music. But soon he moved into art.

Lios has formal training and degrees in the field of graphic arts and has worked on hundreds of advertising campaigns for large and small companies throughout Costa Rica. Though fulfilling, Lios said he felt something lacking in his life.

He has transformed this background to his current successes with sophisticated oil paintings and portraits. His show “In the Garden of the Night,” opens Saturday at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery west of Liberia.

Lios’ first love always was his music, and since the age of 15 he has played guitar, bass, keyboard, flute and percussion. In 2005, weary of the bureaucracy and formalities of working in the ad agencies, Lios said he realized that he was the one responsible for his happiness, and was the sole owner of his life and decisions. He left San José and returned to Guanacaste, to play his music, and was soon asked by a friend to try to paint their portrait. Having had basic courses in oil painting and etching, but never formal art training, Lios decided to accept the challenge.

This filled a void that had been missing so long in his life. His subject matter came easily: women.

“Women have been important in my life,” said Lios, “strong women. And thanks to these women of great strength, I am now what I am. I paint women because I feel good about it. I feel comfortable with them. I enjoy watching and painting them. No other reason. I like the beauty and strength that is so demonstrative in a woman.”

Says fellow artist Rebeca Alvarado Soto, “Oscar Lios cultivates the art of the female figure in his paintings. His work flourishes, especially in the detail of each of the elements represented with great precision by his strokes, and captures the viewer’s attention with this wonderful technique shown in his palette.”

Lios will be at the gallery Saturday from 10 a.m., and he also will be playing some of his music. The gallery is five kilometers west of the Daniel Oduber Airport on the road to Playas del Coco.

For more information, those interested can contact the gallery at 2667-0592 or 8386-6872 or email

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