Design & Decoration S04 ep10 : Fernado Botero, Botero Artist Sculptor, [Paris]
Interview with Fernado Botero
"Fernando Botero's distinctive style of smooth inflated shapes with unexpected shifts in scale is today instantly recognizable. It reflects the artist's constant search to give volume presence and reality. The parameters of proportion in his world are innovative and almost always surprising. . Today Fernando Botero divides his time between Paris, New York and Tuscany. His paintings, sculptures, and drawings are exhibited and represented in museum collections throughout the world."
I consider because I don’t know why art because in my home town there was no guards’, no
collectors, no museums. It really has been a mystery to me how I developed this strong
vocation in a place that was not very favorable to do this. We’re talking about the 40’s you
know it was very primitive they weren’t paying.
When I was fifteen I started to pain, I started to do exhibitions, the group shows at seventeen
and the first one of my shows was in 1949.
My first watercolors that I exhibited in 1947 wasn’t very impressionable as a matter of fact I did
show them in a little prospect in Mexico one month ago and it was more romantic that I do
now. I don’t know why my intuition perhaps it was from my frustration of force, it was
something that was inside me.
Volume is a very important element in art because it was used by the Italians in the 13th
century with Yourtu to the actual painting. Before the painting was flat, the Greeks knew how
to do it but Europe wrote about it for 15 centuries. Then suddenly your to create an illusion
based on volume and it was the greatest illusion ever.
When you are very young you are looking at Picasso and you want to be the new Picasso but
when I came to you and saw all the masters I realized all the paintings were more complex,
more important and then instead of going to Paris live I went to Florence because I wanted to
be close to this great master.
When I came here it was completely for practical. I came in 1975. This is where the parking
place was in town then little by little developed an artist side. I came here because of the
fountains and because of flowers. I love the town; we have been heavily stable for 35 years. So
me and my son are very… great place to learn this culture.
Right there is a very famous cave that is called Altissima where Michelangelo worked and he
decided to bring down the last sculpture of at last ten years today.
When you see history in a panoramic way you realize that most of the art has been done on
just the subject matters. If you notice it’s sad or depressive painted by the person and then
you’ll think of Ciano,Beirber, Mocherie. All of them have gentle subject matter but sometimes
you know there are like the types that harbor or black paints of warrioror they make the
dimensionor they make like a measure once or adjust the pictures around the back. Sometimes
you do something that there is no move for recitation of that you said about that touching of a
grade. I was reading about this article in the papers and I was very shocked with what was
going on with the policy of this equation. Then I started to a drawing and then another one and
then I decided to paint and I did it for four months.
Sometimes I also did scenes about the painters in Latin America; they are in Columbia because
they have a lot of violence in my country it’s a good place now but it’s still a different situation
and that’s what I did. Sometimes my situation moves me to something and I stay in the subject
for a long time
Sentimentaltypically element in my work that’s for sure and sometimes even a touch of humor,
there’s nothing wrong with that but it says one of the greatest painter is Bruegelis full of the
tales that are humorous. It’s like a little door that you have an spectator to get involved with
I like to speak directly with my work. I don’t believe in a professor explaining the painting. You
see a painting by Velasquez and you have your own explanation, it speaks by itself.
I invented painting the act of painting;I know better little than when I start and then these
touches of humor sometimes you have to invent the color, the situation, I don’t want to be
inside or outside. I have to invent the painting of what I’m painting.
What makes art great is it’s connected with the great art history.You know the Americans are
connected with the pop situation that they have of course the art is not great. You have to be
connected with the great master and somehow not to copy them but to do a different version
or different thing that has not exhibit before but is connected somehow with the great, great
Even if you want, you cannot be a painter of the renaissance. Since you are living in this
century you are producing things that are of this century. What you’re doing or what I’m doing
has not been done before. It is connected with so many artists you’re not a Francesca or a
Francesco this is the Colombian also in Latin America. This strange mixture for this culture,
information is what you have left. What you have seen, what you are, the place where you
come, and by doing this benefit me in that I need to express myself in painting or its culture.
You’re in Europe the art is in the streets not in Latin America. I saw the first painting of the
master when I was 19 in Barcelona when I got out of the boat I saw a painting of Phil Baran that
was a big impact.
There was a dimension emulated my paintings. It was kind of natural to do in sculpture. It was
a difficult decision to do because I have to stop painting and to learn how to do sculpture. I
actually did it myself. You know I first modeled my left hand, I put my hand like this and then I
start to mold my hand. Even the great Greek sculptures were done in clay first. You have to do
it in clay then in plaster and then somebody or the artist copy this thing.
The mayor ask me…they wanted me to do this show because I was 80 years old and I selected
the drawings from what I have and also the monumental sculptures were eventually found and
then I just let the opportunity happen.The positioned to do it.
All my paintings, all my drawings, all my small molds are done myself without any help because
I’ve been able to…well first of all I believe to be by myself alone in the studio. I don’t like to
hear music; I don’t like to hear talking, to be effective you have to be by yourself completely
So based on that figurative paintingand then emotions start to…I’ve been figurative all my life.
I like very muchwhat I doalone is very strong, very refined, very elegant. We like to talk about
art, we like to visit museums to meet a couple of artists, to me is very important.
I always have this studio apart from the house Amir also has his studioapart from the house.
We work completely apart.
There have always been different ideas of when to paint anything. The best thing I hear is
whenRamon said you finish a painting when stop thinking, the whole thing from the very
moment from you start until the end is a trip like a little ecstasy.
When I was 20 years old I went to Valerie where Picasso used to live. I went to the house of
Picasso knocked the door and then they said you have an appointment? No appointment.
Then get lost! So if you stay here and Picasso comes out every day with a certain mind swearing
to Picasso for two days, he was the only painter I really wanted to meet.
When I was in New York years ago when I was starting somebody came to buy a painting and
he loved it very much, he said I want to come with my wife to see it. Then he came with his wife
and then the woman said in front of me but this is horrible. The man said but I want to buy the
painting and then the woman getting on her knees please I beg you don’t buy this, this is
horrible. All this in front of me, see sometimes you have to live, when you’re your own artist it’s
just a bigger end. So maybe a little thing that happened when you’re your own artist.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Fernado Botero, Botero Artist Sculptor, London