Friday, April 8, 2011
Botero and the Art of Fat
Fernando Botero (1932 - ) likes to paint fat people such as these:
He seems to make a good living at it through sales of his paintings and reproductions -- good enough that he can flit from Paris to his native Colombia once a year and indulge himself by painting a large number of canvasses that proclaim his political views. For more details, a lengthy Wikipedia entry on him is here.
What interests me is that the man has succeeded commercially by painting what are fundamentally cartoons. And apparently he gets enough Art Establishment respect to be featured in art museum and university gallery exhibits.
The art career pole strikes me as being greasier than most, so I'm almost never completely critical when an artist gains some fame and even fortune in his own lifetime. Nevertheless, the rewards system in the Modern era usually favors artists who I consider undeserving. Botero is one of those. Based on his output, he really should have been a Postmodern magazine illustrator creating whimsical little drawings of fatties to decorate articles.