Botero, the painter of fat women, in Bogota

28 Nov

Round fruit, even rounder women, bloated and effeminate Catholic bishops and fat men riding obese horses are recurring themes in the paintings and sculptures created by Colombian artist Fernando Botero Angulo. More than one hundred pieces created by Botero in the course of a lifetime are on display at Bogota’s Museo Botero.

With its bold colours and almost childish imagery, Botero’s paintings do not seem technically complex, which is perhaps why the BBC have snobily touted his work as “art for people who don’t care about art”.

I’ve had no formal training in art appreciation or art history, so I’m not professing to be an art critic. However untrained my eyes may be I still find something incredibly special about Botero’s creations. There is something about Botero’s artworks draw people to them, a sarcastic sensibility perhaps that at first glance brings a smile to the viewer’s face.

Because I am a leftie I can’t help but read Botero’s work as a clever, tongue in cheek criticism of greed and excess in 20th Century Colombia, even though the artist has never made public comments that would validate this interpretation.

Certainly Boteros’ 2004/ 2005 series exploring violence and terror within Baghdad’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison suggests that Botero doesn’t merely paint pictures because they are pretty. Sadly none of the 80 Abu Ghraib paintings are on display in Colombia yet.

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One Response to “Botero, the painter of fat women, in Bogota”

  1. christine hodgetts November 29, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    the paintings sure are colourfull Kristie, “the woman has a funny little breast. You are having a wonderfull time Love Christine

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