New York, 40 West 57th Street
The familiar figures in paintings by Botero are as voluptuous as they are charismatic. Whether he is depicting female nudes, bullfighters, dance hall denizens, clowns, revelers, lovers, Grandes Dames, musicians, families or a bowl of fruit, Botero’s skill and style make the work unmistakably his own.
As writer David Ebony puts it, “Art audiences, critics, and collectors see the famously rotund figures that populate his compositions as emblematic archetypes: sensuous icons of plenty, of good health and good fortune.” For the artist, form and color work together to illuminate the heightened reality of each painted figure or scene. In Botero’s paintings no element is gratuitous – “everything is necessary” as he explains.
Although a figurative painter, he achieves a balance in composition and color that shows his understanding and assimilation of the essential tenets of abstraction. Light, created by his synthesis of colors, is especially important. Botero never paints heavy shadows as he considers them the enemy of color. He has stated, “I would say that in my painting there is an interior light that is like morning light. What most resembles this internal, color-like “light” is the light of the morning hours…everything is clearer and more uniform.”