Sunday, July 29, 2007

Colombia Dispatch: The Botero Square

In 2000, well-known artist and sculpturist Fernando Botero, a Medellin native, donated 114 of his paintings and 23 of his sculptures to the Museum of Antioquia in Medellin. Some of the sculptures now adorn what is called The Botero Square which is heavily trafficked and just outside the museum.

Most recently, Botero made a splash with a series of paintings inspired by the revuslion he felt at the abuses by the US military in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (some can be seen here and here). Personally, at least artistically, the series seemed to me mediocre at best and almost exploitative. But, hey! That´s just me.

Then again, if you´ve seen one Botero and you´ve pretty much seen all Boteros. To be fair, earlier works do jump at you with their playfulness and colorful depiction of Colombian life. For what is worth, I do like the hand and horse statues below.

PS - Below you can also see a crowd watching the antics of a hefty man who asked four spectators to volunteer and stand on his stomach as he laid down on broken glass; he later pulled out nails out of his nose. Yay!.

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