On the morning of November 24th, TEDxBeijing led a group of 40 from the art community, the diplomatic core, and the business sectors on an exclusive tour of the “Botero in China,” a retrospective exhibition featuring over 90 artworks of the world-renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The tour, led by Dr. Juan Carlos, Botero’s son and an expert on his father’s work, enabled participants to get better acquainted with the core themes the artist tackled throughout his career, and what made his pictorial universe – including works such as Everyday Life in Latin America, In Still Life, The Bullfight paintings, and The Circus – an important reference to the whole world.
Dr. Juan Carlos explained that the exploration of volume and strikingly vibrant colour are intrinsically unique in Botero’s artworks. We were also cleared of the misunderstanding that Botero’s subject is ‘’fat people.‘’ What Botero depicts in fact isn’t fat so much fat as voluminous. Dr. Juan Carlos expounded that, “it is not excess of flesh, just excess of volume to show volume of life. Not a contrast between thin and fat, but grand and small.” Botero believes that all art work should aspire to inspire and celebrate life and even when painting an image of violence or brutality; it should accentuate in a form of volume to celebrate life.
The hour-long, informative and enlightening tour closed with a question and answer session. All left impressed and awe-inspired by the works. As China becomes an increasingly prominent world art consumer, we were pleased to be able to seize this opportunity during Botero’s first, historical, official exhibition in China.