Fernando Botero, also named the most Colombian of Colombian artists, has developed a style the world notices as his own. Fernando was born in 1932 in Medellin, Colombia. Fernando came across heavy schooling as a child, which isolated him from traditional art in museums and such cultural institutions. It was his strict school however that brought art to be an interest for Fernando, the school Botero attended was run by Jesuits who were strict and brought little enjoyment into Botero’s life. To find enjoyment Botero began to draw at a young age.
At that young age his inspiration was anything that interest him such as bullfighting. Fernando was a great fan of bullfights so he would paint scenes of this then sold them in front of the arena for 5 pesos. He spent nearly two years painting this subject. He had a growing interest in art his entire life; he shared his thoughts, and studied. When Botero was seventeen he worked for the Medellin newspaper, El Colombiano, titled Picasso and the Nonconformity of Art, which showed Botero’s mind and how it is linked with art.
Botero is so well known because of his signature style, robust and round objects and characters. Botero tells critics that he is simply attracted to his form without knowing why. He claims that artists never know why artists use a form, he claims the style is intuitive and that the explanation for their style can be rationalized after it’s adopted. Botero is difficult to understand, as he doesn’t share his opinion with his art or even explaining his art. “He shares his vision with us but not telling us how to feel about it. Navas- Nieves says. We know his works are personal as some of his famous works depict his youth, “The Bishop”, “The Nun”, “The Bullfighter”, and “The Widow”.
It is unknown to all except Botero however if these drawings reflect the beauty with these no proportional, bright colored, exaggerated sized or the turmoil. Botero eliminated brushwork and texture in his paintings as he favored a smoother look. Botero’s works are abstract and are educated by a Columbian upbringing and social commentary. When Colombian children go to church they see all these Madonnas, so clean and perfect. In South America china-like perfection is very much a part of the ideal toilet of beauty.
More so even than the polychrome wood sculptures in Spain, Latin American sculptures look like porcelain. So, in contrast to Europe or North America, you connect the notions of art and beauty at a very early age. I grew up with the idea that art is beauty. All my life I’ve been trying to produce art that is beautiful to discover all the elements that go to make up visual perfection.
When you come from my background you can’t be spoilt by beauty, because you’ve never really seen it. If you’re born in Paris, say, you can see art everywhere, so by the time you come to create art yourself you’re spoilt – you’re tired of beauty as such and want to do something else. With me it was quite different. I wasn’t tired of beauty; I was hungering for it. ” Botero said this knowing he was not raised with art, which is his beauty. The lack of art in his life made him develop such an original style. The church influences Botero, his baroque style was adopted from the church.
Botero is the most Colombian of Colombian artists because of his insulation from international trends. Botero once remarked “A painter can do things a photographer can’t do, because a painter can make the invisible visible. ” This thinking lead Botero to create a series of serious paintings about prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib. Botero, through his paintings in this series allowed us to feel the prisoners suffering. The paintings brought us to the agony of the victims, the humiliation they felt and all the pain was transferred from the painting to us, making us the victim.
This series proved moreover Botero’s skill of art. Many critics thought the series was out of Botero’s league claiming that Botero’s style cannot do justice to the seriousness of the subject. Botero proved the critics wrong when he captures the emotion of the victims. The difference between photographs and paintings are that photographs come with a story. Just something that happened. They can be beautiful but paintings show affects and emotion and thoughts and different depictions. Much more thought goes into a painting, which sets the two apart.