Monday, July 06, 2009

Fernando Botero:

This Sunday I had the chance to check out an art exhibit at the National Museum of Art which is housed inside of the Deoksugung Palace here in Seoul, South Korea. I'll have to admit, even though I enjoy art, I hadn't heard of Botero. Once I saw his work, however, I was almost certain that I had seen it before. 

It was a hazy and warm Sunday afternoon and after enjoying some delicious waffles at Cafe Ima, Jin and I were off to see the 92 piece collection. It was an enjoyable afternoon at the gallery. 

Botero is a Colombian artist who got his foot into the door at a young age. At first glance his paintings (mostly oil on canvas) seem quite simplistic. After leaving the exhibit, I realized that the simplicity in his paintings are what makes them so perfect. Botero paints the human body like I have never seen before. Each character takes on the rotund shape, and shows that even big characters can be beautiful. 

Although the faces on his characters are difficult to read, his paintings definitely do not lack emotion. Each painting told it's own story. The series really shares Latin people and their culture in a realistic light. The paintings tell us about politics, society, and religion- all pressing issues in South America. 

Botero's work was shown through his five major themes:

1. Still Life and Versions-- Interesting because Botero recreated the works of famous masters such as Da Vinci, Raphael, Goya, Rubens, Velazquez and Picasso. 

2. Latin Life- Enjoyable because it's painted through his eyes based on things he has seen and experienced throughout his life. Shows the simplicity of life in South America-- from bathers to picnics. 

3. Latin People- Shows the free spirit of Latin Americans. While they enjoyed drinking, smoking, and having sex - they also enjoyed putting on make-up, jewelry, and going dancing. 

4. Bullfight and Circus- Life and Death really was portrayed here. As well as the relationship between the bull and the bullfighter. Botero's paintings in this theme once again show a side of happiness even in odd scenarios. The circus paintings show a side of solitude that we don't see in the other paintings. 

5. Sculpture- The sculptures are massive in size, but you almost have to expect that as Botero portrays volume in ways we haven't seen before. "Cat" is one of his famous sculptures, and really shows that there is no limit when it comes to space and time.



To Be Announced said...

That's really cool you got to go see the exhibit. I had had an art class one summer at my community college and we learned about him.

Amanda said...

You going to Mudfest?