Botero’s Requiem, the most incarnate hand of Christ

Modernity is at its origin, its beginning. About “Venus” willendorf and also in Giotto Gave the Renaissance its beginning and scale.he looked at them Fernando Botero (Medellin, 1932 – Monaco, 2023) making exaggeration the axis on which his art revolves. “What guided me was art history. Suddenly the volume of my work was exaggerated, but the paintings were exaggerated. Look at the exaggerated colors van gogh! “Art is an exaggeration.”

For eighty years, Botero has created a body of painting and sculpture in which he manages to be “fascinating, surprising, poetic, tender, sensual, serene, but also disturbing, ironic and mysterious: all at the same time “.Historian’s definition of art Cristina Carrillo de Albonos. With that blow, “The most Colombian of all Colombians” – as it is sometimes defined – the ability to establish one’s own style, be original, easily identifiable and, most importantly, Very popular and able to reach all audiences. His formidable work ethic – in the words of his son, “He was like a working locomotive who never stopped looking for new forms of expression” juan carlos– His constant exhibitions around the world have made him famous.

rebellious spirit

He died at his home in Monaco on September 15 from complications of pneumonia. He was 91 years old and he never stopped painting, he never stopped embodying the “rebellious spirit” in his oil paintings, pastels, watercolors and drawings. Beneath the veneer of humor, beyond the starting point that “art should give pleasure”, his passion for art history – his famous reinterpretations of masterpieces – and his inalienable aesthetic coherence, Botero wanted to – And know how to— Create a work that is primarily dramatic.

It is in this scene that his paintings about state violence and condemnation of war exist, such as the series about the torture of Muslim prisoners at Abu Ghraib, or the long-ago series called “The Pain of Colombia”, among others.Which He did not want to ignore the heartbreak and pain caused by the “great drama”, drug trafficking, guerrillas and paramilitary groups.

In this decision to reflect contemporary drama, he also inserted his imagination of the “Passion of the Christ”, a work painted around the cross between 2008 and 2011, a series of 27 oil paintings and 34 paintings that he presented in the exhibition for the first time A sketch. Exhibited at the Marlborough Gallery in New York in 2012, he donated the entire collection to the Antioquia Museum of Fine Arts in Medellín. “I am a Christian, and although I doubt many things, the idea of ​​Christ as God is always present in my brain. As an artist, I cannot accept it. “I must do so with admiration for this extraordinary man to do this,” Then he explained. “I would say,” he later added, “the crucifixion was the most dramatic thing that ever happened.”

Reflections on contemporary drama

This encounter with The Passion has its roots in his attempt to reflect contemporary drama, since his work is far from comedy. “I had studied violence in Colombia, torture in Abu Ghraib. Now I needed to express a dramatic theme again, and it came up Way of the Cross. I don’t express any sarcasm, nor do I express any humor, as I sometimes do in my paintings. I expressed his violence against the divinity of Christ. I presented the idea of ​​a man who started a great revolution and whose philosophy was admirable but who tried to avoid divinity. The Church invented many myths about Christ and the Virgin,” he explains. Botero’s vision transcends the fourteen seasons and incorporates them into the landscapes of Medellín and Manhattan like the Renaissance: there is Judas The Kiss, Pontius Pilate, the Road to Golgotha, the Crown of Thorns, the Passion in the Middle. Central Park, the Passion of the Virgin, the Funeral… He did dare to admit, he did admit his undoubted passion for Christ, This is a contemporary anomaly.

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