Friday, September 30, 2011

Botero's Los Cigarros

Fernando Botero (born 1932) is a Columbian artist. Starting as a set designer, he eventually focused on art. He is perhaps best known for his paintings and sculptures of subjects that are proportionally exaggerated or, to put it bluntly, fat and often grossly obese. The paintings puzzle: they have the ebullience of baroque, but the two-dimensionality of the Gothic. One of Botero's paintings is entitled "Los Cigarros," and it predictably features a fat cigar smoker. This person is postured in an alley ready to smoke his cigar which he holds, unlit, in his right hand. It appears that it may have been smoked partially before, but there is no wisp or other evidence of smoke that would suggest it is lit. The subject's left hand is in his pocket, perhaps searching for his lighter.

The colors of the "Los Cigarros" are very warm, with an emphasis on orange and browns. The man must be of some importance. He is dressed in a brown suit, wears a matching fedora, and has a pencil-thing tie which is--oddly--blue. His hands are well-manicured. There are three women peering out of their windows, perhaps wondering what this well-dressed man is doing in their alley. They appear to have their hair split down the middle and pulled back, in the manner of peasants. Oddly, there appear to be four oranges at his feet.

Los Cigarros by Botero (detail)

Los Cigarros by Botero

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