Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fernando Botero in Medellin

As I mentioned in the last post, Fernando Botero is a native of Medellin. For this reason he has donated the greatest amount of his paintings and bronze sculptures to the city and specifically to the Parque San Antonio (also called Ciudad Botero or Plaza Botero), which boasts the largest collection of his statues in the world. In that same plaza is the Museo de Antioquia, which contains hundreds of his pieces of art, as well as exhibits from other artists. Below are just a few of the paintings, drawings, and sculptures he has on display. You'll notice that the titles he gives them are straightforward - one can basically guess what a work is called based on what one sees. I appreciate this efficiency and find it annoying when some artists leave you guessing with their titles - just call it what it is.

 *Exvoto - Giving Thanks for a Miracle

*Familia Colombiana - Colombian Family (Oh how those ladies dote on their men...)

*Trabajadores - Workers

*Florero - Flower Pot

*La Cocina - The Kitchen

*Cabeza de Cristo - Head of Christ

*Mano - Hand

*Hombre a Caballo - Man on Horseback

*La Muerte de Pablo Escobar - Death of Pablo Escobar (This picture looks dark because it was being protected in a very dark room and flash photography isn't allowed in museums.)

*Pablo Escobar Muerto - Dead Pablo Escobar 

The death of Pablo Escobar was a significant moment in Colombia's history and Botero captured it with several paintings, most famously the two previous ones. He, as most Colombians, saw Escobar's demise as a potential beginning for peace and a chance to retake Medellin out of the hands of the drug cartels. Twenty years later it seems that those dreams are being realized; Medellin is one of the most impressive cities my family and I have ever visited in all of our travels -but more to come on that in another post. 

Following are several photos of Botero's sculptures that are inside the Museo de Antioquia. I didn't take more than one photo outside in the Plaza Botero - which is in front of the museum - because it was really crowded, I was sick, my head was very congested (my ears hadn't popped in hours), and I didn't feeling like standing out more than we already did by playing tourist and taking pictures...suffice to say that I was in a cranky mood.

*This is the back view of Rapto de Europa - Rape of Europe

*Adan y Eva - Adam and Eve

*El Pajaro - The Bird

The sculpture above is similar to another one that Botero donated to plaza San Antonio in 1994; In 1995 it was blown up by terrorists (guerillas, cartels, no one knows for sure) during a party. Thirty people died in the bombing of The Bird. Botero urged the city to leave the blown up sculpture as it was and later he donated a replica of it, which he wanted placed three meters next to the original as a symbol of the juxtaposition of violence and peace that the country has seen. The original bird that was detonated is now know as El Pajaro Herido (The Injured Bird) and the replica is called El Pajaro de Paz (The Bird of Peace). In 2009 both sculptures were moved to the Plaza Mayor, which is home to the international convention center, so I didn't take a photo of them but I did "borrow" one from somebody else's blog. 

*Let's assume this is called Busto de la Cabeza - Bust of Head

*Girl with Bow


*Let's assume this is called: Naturaleza Muerta en Blanco - Still Life in White

*La Mujer Reclinada - Reclining Woman: This sculpture is in the Plaza Santo de Doming in Cartagena and was also donated by Botero. Her breasts have been touched by so many hands that the bronze has been rubbed to a shiny yellowish color.

I bought two copies of Botero's work while in Medellin, El Baile and Naturaleza Muerta con Bananos. Once I've framed and hung them I'll snap a photo and include it on a post about all the decorating and refinishing we've been doing in our new house. Until then I'll be publishing a Colombia post daily until I finish with them because it's time to move on to everything that's been happening with us in California. So, expect to see more links in your Facebook and Instagram feeds, or in your e-mail or reader. And, as always, thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...

Great stuff. I need to learn more about the cartel in Medellin, its demise, and the city's rebirth. I wish I had seen (or maybe I did and didn't remember) the blown up bird statue. Amazing that Botero can be so divisive as to being a good artist or not according to the critics. Lots of good, some bad, but what I thought was important was how eager he was to flood his native city with art... I suppose to urge the next generation to continue being creative.


Rafael Alberto Zambrano said...

Espectacular Ana Maria y Chris...Un excelente viaje a Colombia