Fernando Botero, sculptures and paintings
"In art, as long as you have ideas and think, you are bound to deform nature. Art is deformation." F. Botero.
Fernando Botero is Latin America's most famous living artist. His distinctive style of smooth inflated shapes with unexpected shifts in scale is today instantly recognizable and reflects the artist's constant search to give volume presence and reality. Born in 1932 in Medellin, capital of the Antioquia Department of Colombia, Botero became interested in painting at an early age. Today the artist divides his time between Paris, New York and Tuscany. His paintings, sculptures, and drawings are exhibited and represented in museum collections throughout the world. Fernando Botero is an artist who at a very early age developed a style of his own which established him firmly both on the local art scene and abroad, and as one of the masters of twentieth-century art.
For 1999, the last year of the millennium, Florence City Council and Board of Artistic and Historical Assets have decided to place the Renaissance sculpture of Michelangelo, Giambologna, Ammannati, Bacio Bandinelli and Donatello "in direct confrontation" with the work of one of the most original contemporary artists alive today: Fernando Botero. The artist held an exceptionally successful exhibition at Fort Belvedere in 1991, also on the invitation of the Florence City Council, which was seen by over 70.000 paying visitors. Now, nearly 10 years later, the City Council and the Florence Board of Artistic and Historical Assets have decided to transfer a new selection of this great Columbian artist's work (and different from what was shown at the previous exhibition) deep into the heart of the city: the Courtyard of the Uffizi, Piazza della Signoria and the Arms' Room in Palazzo Vecchio so that this "confrontation" can be enjoyed by as many tourists as possible. The exhibition includes 31 monumental sculptures in bronze arranged in Piazza della Signoria and in the Courtyard of the Uffizi, in addition to the 10 small sculptures in bronze and 25 paintings on display in the Arms' Room of Palazzo Vecchio. Among the paintings we can also admire a large polyptych that Botero carried out "in homage" to Piero della Francesca, who has been a source of inspiration for him ever since he came to Florence to study in the 1950's.
The exhibition is a non profit making operation as the money from the various sponsorships, entrance tickets and sale of catalogues will probably be used to create a fund that will be donated to the Florence City Council and the Board of Artistic and Historical Assets for the restoration of one or more works of art. Piazza della Signoria, Courtyard of the Uffizi, Arms' Room (Palazzo Vecchio), June 24th-August 28th.