For today’s Poetics, I invite you to consider the visual art of Fernando Botero as an inspiration for your word-painting.
Born in Colombia in 1932, Botero’s work is easily recognized by its opulent style. A figurative artist, Botero excels in representing people and objects in a highly exaggerated manner. Inflated shapes, manipulated scales of size, his use of colors and lack of texture all serve to give volume to reality. Botero embraces subjects of politics and religion, particularly in his native South American culture, and in the process draws attention to the disproportionate importance given to certain aspects of society. He denies that it’s his intention to be critical or ironic, stating:
“An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.”
Botero studied in France and his work often shows the influence of the great masters including Giotto, della Francesco, and Ucello. He is a citizen of the world, having lived in New York, Paris and other cosmopolitan areas. His paintings, sculptures and drawings have been exhibited in museum collections throughout the world. Subjects include portraits, political and religious figures and issues, still life, disasters—both man-made and natural and take-offs of known paintings by the European Masters.
In a lecture I attended on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ book, One Hundred Years of Solitude, the speaker, a professor in the Spanish department at University of Nevada, Reno, suggested that if this award-winning novel were ever to be illustrated, it should be done by Marquez’ artist friend, Botero. Both men, Colombian, seem to have the same take on Colombian society and culture.
In showing Botero’s exhibit a few years ago at Nevada Museum of Art, I found Botero’s work to be ripe with topics of discussion for both children and adults, covering a number of contemporary social issues, as well as elements of art.
Here are some suggestions to spark your creative treatment of today’s prompt:
• Write an Ekphrastic poem on a piece of art by Botero. Many are available for viewing on the Internet. Check out his website at http://fernandobotero.com
• Write a poem about Botero, the man.
• Choose a topic to write about with a touch of irony or exaggeration.
• Write your poem and post it to your blog or website.
• Access Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post and add your name and the direct URL to your post.
• Visit and comment on as many participants as you can, especially those who have commented on your work.
• Have fun!