“Boteromanía”: the whole world celebrates today the 90th anniversary of a voluminous painter and sculptor, with an unmistakable style

A patriarch of Latin American art and one of the most recognized for his work turns ninety years old. Almost as famous as the Nobel Prize winner for Literature Gabriel García Márquez, the singer Shakira and the drug trafficker Pablo Escobar (who had the Bird sculpture destroyed in Medellín), Colombian Fernando Botero (Medellín, April 19, 1932) will be feted in his native country, in Italy, and even by that great digital continent called Google, which will make interactive proposals and a online gallery to learn more about the work and history of one of the most admired living artists in the world.The Colombian teacher during the presentation of the book “Mujeres de Botero”, in 2018: “I have not painted a fat woman in my life”, he has declared about the volume he gives to his charactersNurPhoto – NurPhotoAlthough Google does not say so, part of the international fame Botero’s work must be attributed to the Argentinian-Colombian writer and art critic Marta Traba, who revolutionized the thriving artistic scene in Colombia with her presence on television, the press and the university. According to Traba, Botero’s work “will never be an imposture, because born from the most sincere efforts to exist as its own creation and it will define ever firmer values, because tenacity, together with talent, can never end in a vacuum”. Although some artists and critics -including Traba herself in the early 1980s, before her untimely death- questioned that 1958 statement, a new artistic style had already been born: “boterismo”. will open their doors so that visitors can learn about Botero’s legacy, Google embraces “boteromania” and pays homage to the artist who paints, draws and sculpts voluminous human and animal figures with more than one hundred digitized images and online collections to see in detail and learn the stories behind his most famous paintings. From the computer at artsandculture.google.com or from the cell phone, with Android or iOS, it will be possible to find out about the painter’s techniques and his motivations when painting portraits of Latin American and Spanish characters, still lifes, musical instruments, voluptuous women and scenes of political violence. “I have said it many times: I have not painted a fat woman in my life,” he declared about his figures. I have expressed the volume, I have sought to give prominence to the volume, make it more plastic, more monumental, as if it were almost food, edible art. Art must be sensual: in that sense I say it”.Botero recreated works by artists such as Da Vinci, Mantegna and Picasso;  currently, he paints watercolors in his house in the Italian town of PietrasantaBotero recreated works by artists such as Da Vinci, Mantegna and Picasso; currently, he paints watercolors in his house in the Italian town of Pietrasanta “Art should give pleasure -said Botero in dialogue with LA NACION, on the occasion of an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Arts in 2006-. Most of the masterpieces of painting were made on rather pleasant subjects. There were few artists dedicated to dramatic subjects, such as Matthias Grünewald and Hans Baldung. Sometimes dramatic themes are a parenthesis in an artist’s production, as happened with Goya. So I think it is possible to combine, to go from a dramatic theme to a friendly one, as long as the artist is faithful to his style and as long as his work produces pleasure aesthetic”. True to his motto, the Colombian created “kind”, sensual and humorous works and others that criticize and satirize political power, such as the emblematic Presidential Family (acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York), Official Portrait of the Military Junta and The War.One of Fernando Botero's family group portraits: "Joaquin J. Aberbach and his family"One of Fernando Botero’s family group portraits: “Joaquín J. Aberbach and his family” Soon there will be no city in the world without a sculpture by the Colombian artist. There are bronze and marble works by Botero in squares and streets of Bogotá, Mexico City, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Paris, New York, Lisbon, London, Jerusalem, Monte Carlo, Santiago and, in Buenos Aires, a naked male torso exhibits in Thays Park. His paintings are exhibited in international museums, from Caracas to Moscow, and from Hiroshima to Lausanne. In Medellín, his hometown, twenty-three sculptures are displayed in a plaza named after him. Botero has donated hundreds of works to public museums in Colombia.Sculpture of Fernando Botero, in the Rambla del Raval, in BarcelonaSculpture by Fernando Botero, on the Rambla del Raval, in BarcelonaJavier SinayThe artist, who settled in Paris in the 19790s, anticipated that he will celebrate with his family in the Italian town of Pietrasanta -where he has been designated an illustrious citizen, he is one of his many houses and in whose small squares there are his sculptures- and that he will continue working on a series of watercolours. In Colombia, the celebrations for the anniversary of the artist who recreated paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Andrea Mantegna, Paolo Uccello, Francisco de Goya, Diego Velázquez and Pablo Picasso, began weeks ago. This Tuesday, at the Antioquia Museum and the Botero Museum in Bogotá, admission will be free for those who want to visit his collection, summoned by the motto “Let’s make his birthday as monumental as his work.” The Universidad del Rosario, in addition to awarding the artist the Founder’s Order of Merit in Arts and Creation, will offer an academic program and, on social networks, a “shot” will be promoted with the hashtag #Botero90años.Google's art and culture platform sneaked into the celebrations for the 90th anniversary of the birth of Fernando BoteroGoogle’s art and culture platform sneaked into the celebrations for the 90th anniversary of the birth of Fernando BoteroBotero was married to the cultural manager Gloria Zea, director of the Museum of Modern Art in Bogotá for more than forty years, and with whom he had three children: Fernando, Lina and Juan Carlos. The first of them, Fernando Botero Zea – Defense Minister during the presidency of Ernesto Samper, currently based in Mexico – indicated that the tributes to his father represent “the recognition of a artistic career of almost 75 years in which he has worked tirelessly to reach the highest possible level in the field of art”. In radio statements, her daughter affirmed that the artist “feels that the country has returned in affection and affection everything he has tried to do for Colombia”. In 1964, Botero married Cecilia Zambrano, with whom he had a son, Pedro, who died in 1974 in a car accident in Spain while the family was on vacation (the artist made several drawings, paintings and sculptures in memory of Pedro). . Botero and Zambrano separated in 1975. In 1978, he married Greek artist and jewelry designer Sophia Vari. The Colombian’s work is exhibited in public and private museums around the world, and collectors pay millions of dollars for his paintings and sculptures. Without going any further, on March 11, with the sculpture Man on Horse he reached a new record in a Latin American art auction at Christie’s in New York, being sold for 4.3 million dollars. In his paintings, the artist monumentalized characters typical of Latin American culture and provided them with “an apotheosis of color, nonsense and form” (again, Marta Traba). During his stay in New York in the 1960s, he was influenced by abstract expressionism and pop art, but would soon return to the style that made him popular and gave him his name.Long live Columbia!  Long live Columbia! “July 20”, painting by Fernando BoteroThe art and culture platform of Google will present an online collection of works by the artist, such as Monalisa, his recreation of Da Vinci’s La Gioconda. Using the Art Projector tool, you can see some of his images in augmented reality. Two of his works, July 20 and Guitar Lesson, which are in the National Museum of Colombia, will be available to view with Art Zoom, which provides an expanded perspective thanks to the high definition zoom. In addition, it will provide fun facts about the artist and other irrelevant ones such as the fact that the singer J Balvin, Botero’s compatriot, used Art Zoom and explained the first of the aforementioned works in a video. On July 20, Independence Day is celebrated in Colombia; Perhaps in the not too distant future, Fernando Botero’s birthday will become a national date in his homeland.

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