Colombian artist Botero relives boyhood love of circus in new book

Tue Nov 5, 2013 12:23pm EST
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By Walker Simon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Colombian artist Fernando Botero showcases his enchantment with the circus, reliving the magic he felt as a boy during his first visit to the big top, in a new book "Circus: Paintings and Works on Paper."

Botero, best known for his paintings of rotund people, includes in his book 137 paintings, 31 drawings and 22 watercolors done in 2007 and 2008, depicting a magical world where fantasy and reality are blurred.

"The circus allows one to be logical and unreal at the same time," Botero, 81, said in an interview in New York. "In the circus all is possible, there can be a man with two heads, or a character with a green face."

A lion cub smiles in self-satisfaction in one painting, an upright monkey wearing a green plaid suit holds a burning cigarette, looking reflective, in another work.

In some, animals dwarf Botero's plump men and women, which have won him recognition as one of Latin America's most famous living artist.

He attributes his appeal to his universal subjects.

"The circus is a global theme," he said. "It exists in all parts of the world, maybe not in Africa, but it exists in Asia in all parts. In Latin America it's difficult to find a person who hasn't gone to the circus."

Botero fell in love with the circus as a poor boy in Colombia, where going to the circus was an important event.   Continued...

Colombian figurative artist Fernando Botero poses for a picture during an interview with Reuters in his New York apartment October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz