Viewing Room

Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero - Carneval, 2016

Fernando Botero was born in Medellín (Colombia) in 1932 and is one of the most important artists internationally. Already in 1948, without any academic training, he participated in a group exhibition. He studied at the Academia de las Bellas Artes de San Fernando and the Prado Museum (both Madrid) in 1952. Full-bodied forms are Botero's trademark. He combines a seemingly naive joy in storytelling, a refined and layered traditional painting style, and respect for the Old Masters to achieve a new sensibility - and a grotesque sense of humor. In the early 1990s, there was a scandal over his monumental bronzes of powerfully built people, which were placed on the Champs Elysées in Paris, among other places.

A reference to Botero's respect for the Old Masters is justified, although his work is quite different. Michelangelo, for example, was convinced that the finished sculpture was already in the block of marble, and all that was needed was to chip away everything else. Botero, it seems, thinks in the opposite direction: he begins, like Maillol, with a formal concept and lets the figure fill it out.This is also true of his paintings. The roundness of his painted figures does not reflect or comment on reality; rather, just as in Archaic Smile, it is a principle of form.

Botero's art is said to be influenced by Colombian folk art. If this is so, then one must think here less of paintings or textiles, and more of the stone statues of San Augustin; there a source of inspiration for the roundness of his figures could be found.

The figures - humans, animals, plants - have a strong pictorial effect, also through their depicted body mass. His themes and motifs can also be interpreted as memory images, seen through the lens of his aesthetic principles; but they are always overlaid anew by more recent memories and current experiences. They do not only show Colombia, they show the world and interpret it, and in this process our views also change.

The figures - humans, animals, plants - have a strong pictorial effect, also through their depicted body mass. His themes and motifs can also be interpreted as memory images, seen through the lens of his aesthetic principles; but they are always overlaid anew by more recent memories and current experiences. They do not only show Colombia, they show the world and interpret it, and in this process our views also change.

Fernando Botero
Carnaval 2016
Öl auf Leinwand
144 x 100 cm
Price on request