Artwork & Market, a Berlin exhibition celebrates Botero: Mona Lisa wears a bow

Her round facial area with a a little bit greenish complexion fills almost the overall portray from the entrance. The significant dark eyes glance a little bit astigmatic, the fine mouth smiles the perfectly-recognized enigmatic smile. But Fernando Botero’s Mona Lisa wears a bow in her hair and has smaller children’s hands. Fernando Botero painted “Mona Lisa, Age 12” in 1959 in an practically sq. two meter format when he was twelve yrs aged.

He was 27 decades old, experienced just arrived in New York and was despised by his fellow artists. Mainly because he painted figuratively. His salvation was Dorothy C. Miller, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s 1st curator, who obtained this pretty portray for the museum in 1961. Until eventually his 1st gallery exhibition at Marlborough in 1972, the full American artwork scene handled him like a leper, Botero recalls.

His well-liked work polarized

Europe, on the other hand, invited the artist, who was born in Medellín in the province of Antioquia in Colombia, to a tour of 80 of his paintings by means of Berlin, Hamburg, Bielefeld, Düsseldorf and Baden-Baden as early as 1970. By then he experienced identified his signature type, which attracts the basic art general public in droves, but would make insiders and critics frown.

To this day, and whilst Fernando Botero has been a single of the world’s most preferred and commercially profitable artists due to the fact the 1980s, his get the job done has divided viewers.

Because it completely follows its individual canon, an unmistakable vocabulary of voluminous figures and objects, richly luminous shades used in many layers and a motif that it owes not the very least to the pre-Columbian art of its homeland and the folkloric tradition of South and Latin The united states.

Botero himself stated his hermetically self-sufficient fashion by declaring that he had to obtain his “authenticity”. “We Latin Us residents have been colonized by the United States and Europe for a long time. If you come from what was then called a 3rd World country, you have to discover your very own universality. I was artistically wanting for each my roots and globality.”

As he has mentioned numerous periods, he uncovered it in a “language of plasticity. One particular day I drew a mandolin and proportionally created the resonance opening in the instrument significantly also tiny. Suddenly the varieties arched and turned monumental, dominating their surroundings. This wild dynamic confirmed me the way”.

How virtuously and delicately Fernando Botero painted and drew abundance in all formats can be studied in the Zurich gallery Gmurzynska. The additional than twenty watercolor and pencil miniatures had been mainly established in 2021. With them, the artist, who celebrates his 90th birthday on April 19, can take up his well known subjects yet again – solid nudes, musicians playing mandolin and violin, a lady in entrance of the mirror combing her hair, adult males toasting each other, a flirting couple and a naked dancing couple.

Every single of these portrait and landscape formats, each measuring 41 by 31 centimeters (selling price for each sheet CHF 85,000), shows the mastery with which the artist once once more assessments his universe of sensual joie de vivre with contours that are as mild as they are precise and beguiling coloration accents.

His wellness is no extended the finest

“Botero’s point out of wellness is no extended the greatest,” says Lucas Bscher, lover of the gallery. The powerful and sensitive is effective look to him like a legacy. At the exact time, they are evidence of tireless creativeness, which Botero himself describes as follows: “I’m always performing due to the fact I have not uncovered anything that would be more interesting than the resourceful approach.” For additional than a ten years, Galerie Gmurzynska has represented the artist, in seven solo exhibitions she offered paintings as effectively as sculptures.

On the other hand, there have been no additional sculptures for about 10 decades, and not long ago no paintings possibly. The charges have been growing all the bigger for yrs. On March 11, for case in point, Christie’s accomplished 4.3 million bucks in its Latin The usa auction, in which numerous works by Botero had been identified as up, for the bronze “Man on a Horse” from 1999, which was more than three meters superior. Paintings by the artist are also increasingly offered nicely over the million mark.

His vocation is unique

Botero’s profession is exceptional in its steady inventive excellent. Son of a salesman and a housewife, his uncle sent him to a matador faculty when he was twelve, wherever he predominantly sketched toreros and bullfights. At 16 he took part in his to start with group exhibition, then worked as a set designer for a Spanish theater group and in 1951 won second prize at an artists’ salon in Bogotá.

Botero’s fantastic expertise is obvious. He analyzed the Mexican muralists Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros and before long traveled to Madrid to see Goya and Velázquez, then to Florence. Here he discovers Piero della Francesca and the Renaissance and is aware what kind of genius he wishes to emulate: the one that freezes figure, volume, color and dynamics for eternity. In this way, every single do the job turns into an icon, a homage to archaic, timeless themes . music, dance, festivals, enjoy and lust. In Botero’s phrases: “Style is an artist’s identity”.

In an job interview on his 80th birthday, when asked the place he got his inexhaustible strength from, he claimed: “What retains me performing is my curiosity about how my up coming portray will change out. And my countless appreciate for artwork. I nonetheless sense like I’m 30 energetically. So I’m hoping that I can move on and that 1 day I’ll die with a brush in my hand.” Sometime with any luck , as far absent as achievable.

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