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28 August 2006


Fernando Botero at the National Gallery in Athens

Yesterday I woke up comparably early (for a Sunday) so we had time to visit the exhibition of paintings of the colombian painter Fernando Botero. I knew beforehand, that I would like his works and I wasn't disappointed...

The Εθνική Πινακοθήκη (National Gallery) isn't too far from my place. We we got there, we found already a lot of other visitors. Botero's art is accessible, meaning that it does not leave people looking at some abstract something, saying "wtf? what is this?". He mainly paints people - even in his landscapes are people watching the landscape - and they are all fat people. He also paints still lifes and he manages to make his still lifes come out fat too. You'd be surprised to find even a really fat pear.

What the visitors do ask is: "What does it mean? Why? What does he want to say?" I believe the answer is that Botero holds a mirror in front of our overstuffed, over-important and self-exaggerated selves. We get a look at ourselves looking at a landscape. Funny, revealing, just plain phat - our choice. Lot's of Botero's paintings are funny to me.


Some are not. Botero painted a series of pictures about the torture jail of Abu Ghraib in Iraq. They left me angry and hurt. Shame on America. I know the excuse for the torture jail was that this was done without being officially endorsed. But history has taught us that every regime ever claiming that excuse has been proven wrong later, has indeed been proven to have pushed the situation to this state and have backed it up with malice.

The "Abu Ghraib" pictures are only a smaller part of the exhibition. But they show us that life is really a mixed bag. You can't enjoy your picnics, pears and dances (lots of dances in these pictures) but some evil empire will wage war and start torturing people. Lucky us who are not the current victims.

Posted by betabug at 16:07 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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