DBFA Madison: Fernando Botero
David Benrimon Fine Art LLC proudly presents this exhibition of the artwork of the esteemed Columbian artist Fernando Botero. The exhibition is accompanied by a reference catalogue that examines over four decades of Fernando Botero’s career as an artist.
Fernando Botero is that rare artist that comes along once in a lifetime. His refined skill and grace demonstrate his mastery with paint, charcoal, water color and sculpting while also referencing art history and the time he spent studying the Old Italian Masters and the reverence he developed for them.
Upon entering the showroom at David Benrimon Fine Art, the viewer is greeted by the magnificent canvas “Venus.” Standing almost 6 feet tall the well painted canvas personifies all the characteristics we expect to see in a Botero work of art. The woman is voluptuous and appealing. She embraces her size and nudity in a confident matter. This painting is special because it is one of the very few that not only exposes the woman’s frontal nudity but also the placement of a mirror in the background gives the viewer a glimpse of her behind.
To the right of “Venus” are four drawings that demonstrate the evolution of Botero. The earlier drawings show his attention to detail, but as he developed as an artist he began to draw in a style all his own. The paintings are so subtle in detail that without closer inspection they may seem to have been done in an afternoon, but once one gets closer and sees the detail—the shadows of the figure, nail polish on the fingers or even a ring on the coffee cup one realizes that while Botero paints and draws from memory, his memory is astonishing and intricate.
In the center of the room is “Rapto d’Europa.” The sculpture’s name is a symbolic representation referencing the famous woman Europea from Greek mythology that became the namesake for the continent. Europa also represents the lunar cow. Together the woman and the cow have the underlying meaning of intelligence and open-mindedness. Some of the earliest sculptural figures in western civilization explore this symbolic meaning. But in fact, Botero also challenges this Greek mythology in the sculpture. For Botero has a man lying on a bull; both of which are male figures. Normally Botero is known for his women but here where the mythology suggests femininity; Botero changes the sex of the myth to examine masculinity or in this case the lack thereof. The bull is serene and allows the man to take a nap on his back. While this is the strongest of the sculptures, the show also contains curvy women in many sizes, shapes and poses as well as the occasional sculpted animal.
This inaugural exhibition at David Benrimon Fine Art promises to be an eventful exhibition that will not only invite the viewer to see museum quality pieces in a private gallery setting but also provide perspective to the illustrious and storied career of Fernando Botero.