Colombian Painter Botero on his Work about Torture in Iraq

This video from the USA is called Fernando Botero’s “Abu Ghraib” – A Conversation with the.Artist.

From the Google cache of Dear Kitty ModBlog.

This was the first interview I read by Botero on his Abu Ghraib work.

The silence, ever since then, in the mainstream media on this has often been deafening …

Colombian Painter Botero’s Work: Torture in Iraq

Linking: 31 Comments: 0

Date: 4/13/05 at 9:40AM

Mood: Thinking Playing: Painter man, by Creation

Prensa Latina reports:

Colombian Painter to Present Testimony Work on Tortures in Iraq

Bogota, Apr 11 Famous Colombian painter Fernando Botero stated Monday his collection of paintings on the US soldiers’ tortures of Iraqi prisoners was aimed to leave a testimony to something he called a “terrible fact”.

In comments for Colombian radio from Paris, where he lives, Botero stated the origin of the 50-painting collection lies in the outrage he and the world felt on the revelation of these tortures at the Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib.

“It is the first time I have dealt with such an international issue in my work, but I did it because it touched my heart, it incensed me,” the artist stated.

Titled Abu Ghraib, the collection by Botero, world-famous for the voluptuousness of his human figures, will be exhibited as of June 16 [till September 25] at the Venice Palace, in [Rome in] Italy.

This is the first time a living painter has exhibited works in this place, reserved for the great figures of international fine arts.

The exhibit consists of two huge triptychs, three large format paintings, as well as dozens of medium-size drawings, inspired by these brutal scars of the war in Iraq.

“The events in the Iraqi prisons were serious, very serious. Even more because they completely ignore the stipulations for prisoners of war in the Geneva Convention,” he asserted.

Botero read a lot on the issue, it became an obsession for him and the more he knew about the abuses, the more he felt the necessity to do something.

“Four or five months ago, I started drawing, from the need to get all that out of my heart,” the artist stated.

Asked about the similarity of his idea with Goya’s work, Botero answered that a better simile would be with Picasso and his Guernica, an example of a work based in a violent story and painted in the worst moment of the Spanish civil war.

About events of such magnitude as the tortures to Iraqi prisoners by the US soldiers, it is vital to have an artistic denunciation, the Colombian painter said.

The strength of art is the testimony, he highlighted, adding that through Picasso, Guernica”s bombing will always be remembered, one more chapter of Spanish civil war.

On a possible controversy in the US about his collection, Botero stated the only unique aspect to be found in these paintings is the expression of art joined to a terrible event, but it is not a revelation about these tortures, that everybody already knows about.

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