Essay on Fernando Botero

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Fernando Botero

The art of Fernando Botero is widely known, revered, paraphrased, imitated and copied, For many, his characteristic rounded, sensuous forms of the human figure, animals, still lifes and landscapes represent the most easily identifiable examples of the modern art of Latin America. For others, he is a cultural hero.To travel with Botero in his native Colombia is to come to realize that he is often seen less as an artist and more as a popular cult figure. In his native Medellín he is mobbed by people wanting to see him, touch him or have him sign his name to whatever substance they happen to be carrying. On the other hand, Botero's work has been discredited by those theorists of modern art whose tastes are dictated more
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The term "Botero" has become something of a generic word. In the popular conception, a "Botero" is a man or a woman - or any other animate or inanimate thing - possessed of large, rounded proportions. There are "Botero forks" and "Botero cats" just as there are "Botero women" or "Botero children". For many, the concept of "Botero" represents a celebration of sensuality or a reveling in voluptuousness. However, through international exhibitions along some of the most famous streets of the world's largest cities, his paintings, drawings and monumental sculptures have become so well known that their often complex meanings, in many cases l have become all but obscured.While Botero's art is tangibly present as an indispensable part of popular visual culture in the Western imagination, its deeper references and the processes of its creation have become camouflaged by both its highly visible public profile and its commercial appropriation.The art of Botero must be read on a variety of planes. The levels of meaning unfold when scrutinized under the lens of both his historical development and the intentions of the messages that his paintings, drawings and sculptures convey
Botero's career developed out of a virtual void of art historical tradition. The semi- isolated cities and towns of central Colombia had little contact with the larger world of ''culture'' in its conventional contexts when the artist was developing his talent in
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