Popular recognizability is Fernando Botero’s worst enemy, feeding the rejection of his work by many elitists who favor the age’s paradoxical taste for the smugly obscure combined with the profoundly superficial. Even Robert Hughes, the epitome of critical clarity in the face of bling and weird, once dismissed Botero’s “fat women” as “boring essays on the pneumatics of style.” Botero’s value as an artist needs to be separated from the machinery of its success, which requires a sense of the tradition from which it hails—that of Latin American Modernism—and the multiple tropes with which he engages...see the entire article in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.
Cabeza, n.d. Bronze, 267 x 229 x 226 cm. View of work in Medellín, Colombia.