Fernando Botero makes me laugh! Tom and I recently viewed a Botero exhibit at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana. It was pure joy! I had seen most of those paintings and sculptures of the comically plump human figures in the past. It was the still life paintings that surprised me. Generally, still life paintings throughout history were done to create a sense of abundance and wealth in the home. They amplified a festive mood with extra food and drink. The items portrayed were perfectly ripened and prepared. They were appetizing and enticing. So imagine my surprise when I saw the Botero still life paintings! Not only were they disproportionate and exaggerated, but they were also damaged. His gargantuan fruit and vegetables were rotting and surrounded by flies. Hilariously ironic!
My favorite of these is this “Pear”. At first glace, it glows golden and voluptuous inviting me to taste it… I then notice that someone else has already tasted it! Some mysterious creature had bitten into it and vanished without a trace. And there’s more! There seems to be a tiny worm living inside it. He is burrowing corridors, making windows and redecorating the pear’s interior as if it were a new condo. This makes me giggle with delight!