Big, big, bigger Botero

Big, big, bigger Botero
July 25, 2011 Miro Sevin Siegel

Fernando Botero

Here’s a little post I wrote on Botero. My mom was behind on the posts, so I offered to help out. She gave me Botero. I really enjoyed researching his life probably because I really like his art.

Fernando Botero was born on the 19th of April, 1932 in the Colombian city of Medellin. His father David was a business man and his mother Flora was a seamstress. His father died when Botero was 4 years old. Thankfully, one of his Uncles took a major role in his life. When Fernando Botero was 16 he published his first paintings in the local newspaper. He used that money to attend a high school. 2 years later, Botero worked as a set designer. A year after that he moved to Bogota where he was in his first 1 man art exhibit. He was then invited to travel with a few other artists to Barcelona, maybe even met Joan Miro when he was there? But he didn’t stay long.  He quickly moved away to Madrid. Later that year he traveled back to Bogota for another art exhibit. In 1953 he moved to France, and studied there for a year. Afterwards, he traveled to Italy to study the Renaissance Masters. More recently, he’s lives in Paris, but spends 1 month a year in his home city of Medellin.

Fernando Botero married Gloria Zea, and had 3 children together. In 1960 they divorced and both of them re-married other people. In 1964, Botero re-married to Cecilia Zambrano and had a son, Pedro in 1974. They separated the next year. In 1979 Pedro died in a car accident, and Botero was injured. Seems like his life has had some tragedies.

My impression on Botero is he’s a wonderful artist and very unique. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

The Big Art

Here’s some of the images we took when we visited the museum in Medellin, Colombia. I think it’s amazing how the plaza outside the museum is filled with these giant statues and they are a natural part of the scenery, people just hanging out on and around them.

Botero Sculpture, Medellin

 

Botero Sculpture, Medellin

Botero Sculpture, Medellin

Miro hanging out on top of one of the sculptures.

Botero Sculpture, Medellin
Botero Sculpture, Medellin

Lainie & Miro Botero Sculpture, Medellin

We’re trying to do the same pose as the mother and child in this sculpture. Unfortunately Miro is too big.

Botero Sculpture, Medellin

Botero Sculpture, Medellin

Love all the people casually hanging around the art, carrying on with things.

Botero Sculpture, Medellin

Botero Sculpture, Medellin

 

from the Botero gallery:

Why Does Botero Paint Fat People?

“I fatten my characters to give them sensuality. I’m not interested in fat people for the sake of fat people.”

~Fernando Botero

Why do I paint fat people?

When we look at the work of Fernando Botero, be it a painting, drawing or sculpture, we are amazed at the enormous size of the figures, as much animals as people and things. Botero explored the possibilities of art to create and recreate reality constituting a personal artistic language, characterized by the exaltation of forms and volume.

His curiosity led him to study the great works of art history and cultures including the masters of antiquity and the Renasainse and pre-Colombian imagery popular in Colombia today.

The figures painted and sculpted by Botero are not really ‘fat’. They are his formal bid for expressing the sensuality of form, to explore the possibilities of volume and give monumentality to the protagonists of his pictorial world.

His language is achieved thanks to the contrast to giant and dwarf forms, the application of light colors in the center of the shapes and dark ones around the edges, and the play of proportions, which allows him to alter the laws of perspective and to place compositional items according to his formal needs.

Botero has said about his figures, “What I say is that they are not fat, but voluminous. If I make a fruit, a landscape, an animal, a man, anything, it is a deformation to exalt volume. So I do not see them as fat, but as voluminous. Fat can also be Michelangelo, Masaccio or all Florentine art that is voluminous.”

In the middle of the 20th century, in a moment which many artists of the vanguard were making abstract paintings, Botero took his own path: he continued painting recognized figures, providing them volume and intense colors, in scenarios close to everyday life in Latin America, leaving his mark on recent art history in a way undeniably unique.

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

 

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

 

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

Botero, Medellin

 

Botero, Medellin

 

Botero, MedellinIf you like reading about art, please be sure to listen to our podcast interview with Mario Lanz, a wonderful Guatemalan artist, check out my post on when I met the Guatemalan Picasso Efrain Recinos, Guatemalan muralist, sculptor, engineer and architect, who among many other buildings designed the National Theatre in Guatemala City. And finally, be sure to see my art commentary, review and photo essay called Guatemala City, Art & Capitalism?

14 Comments

  1. Alisha Robertson 8 years ago

    Wow! Miro you did a lot of writing..and lots of great photos! Loved reading about your perspective of Botero. 🙂

    • ilainie 8 years ago

      Thanks Alisha! Miro said he had fun researching Botero. He left a ‘big’ impression on him!n

    • ilainie 8 years ago

      Thanks Alisha! Miro said he had fun researching Botero. He left a ‘big’ impression on him!n

  2. Grace Chen 8 years ago

    I found your blog while researching for myu00a0paper on Botero’s “Our Lady of Colombia”; your article has definitely provided some useful information on the artist’s background. And the photos were amazing. It makes me want to see Botero’s work in person some day as well.nnp.s. Mirou00a0is a veryu00a0beautiful boy…he will break hearts when he grows up

    • ilainie 7 years ago

      Thanks Grace! We loved the Botero! Hope your paper went well. I know my son is  a future heart breaker, right? 🙂 Thanks again for your comment!

  3. Jkhewfkje 8 years ago

    your blog really inspires me and i love what you are doing with you and your sons life.

    • ilainie 7 years ago

      Thanks!!! I really appreciate your comment!

  4. realestatelawyer 6 years ago

    Hi, i’m so happy that i found your blog I will be saving this!
    – fernando botero is an interest of mine and and your “Big, big, bigger Botero | Raising Miro on the Road of Life – Travel Podcast” article
    is definately good work.
    Keep it up! I’ll no doubt be back again real soon!

  5. Vanessa 6 years ago

    I’d never heard of Botero before reading this post, but after looking at the painting and bio you posted, I wanna learn more! I love that he calls his subjects “voluminous”… I might even add “bulbous” (but in an awesome way) to that description. 😀

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