This video from the USA says about itself:
From the Washington Post in the USA:
“Botero Sees the World’s True Heavies at Abu Ghraib”
By Erica Jong
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, November 4, 2007; M01
When we think about the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, most of us visualize his roly-poly people flaunting their fat, their fashionable headgear, their cigarettes and cigarette holders, their excess. I never thought of these as political images until I saw Botero’s Abu Ghraib series in which hooded men dangle, upside down, and hideous dogs claw and growl at manacled prisoners arranged into pyramids and bleeding on each other. …
Fernando Botero, whose Abu Ghraib pictures will be on view at American University starting this week, read about the torturers of Abu Ghraib in the New Yorker, and made his own record of the horrors. He did not invent anything that was not described, but because he is an artist, we feel the terror of the tortured rather than the gloating of the torturers — so present in the photographs they took of themselves at play in the blood of others.
Botero calls art “a permanent accusation,” but his Abu Ghraib series seems to me more than an accusation. Rather, it constitutes a complete revision of whatever we have previously thought of Botero’s work. (He refuses to sell these works because he doesn’t want to profit from the pain of others. He plans to donate them to museums.) …
But American torture is different from other tortures because of the high opinion we have of our country and ourselves. Torture is something others do. We are above that. We are reasonable people governed by a great Enlightenment document we call The Constitution. We help, not hurt people all over the world. It is the incongruity of our image of ourselves versus the reality of our behavior that stings most.
I dare them to look at these images and be unmoved.
The series’s entry into the visual world has not been easy. In the Bay Area, they were shown not in a museum, but in a library at the University of California at Berkeley. Still 15,000 people saw them. …
We might also ask what power art can have in general. Did Goya stop cruelty in his time, or Picasso in his? No. But the role of the artist in raising our consciousness and bearing witness is essential. The artist makes us open our eyes to our own cruelty, our own passivity, our own indifference.
For that alone, his witnessing matters. …
[Novelist, poet and nonfiction writer Erica Jong wrote a catalogue essay for the Milan exhibition of Botero’s Abu Ghraib pictures and has a Botero sculpture of Eve with a snake and an apple in her apartment in New York. Her most recent book is “Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life.”]
(If you go: “Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib” opens Tuesday at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, at the intersection of Massachusetts and Nebraska avenues NW, Washington, D.C. Through Dec. 30. Open Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 202-885-1300.)