Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Botero + Guernica = Big Trouble (?)

One of my favorite painters is showing some controversial pieces at the Marlborough Gallery here in New York.

Fernando Botero, a Colombian painter known for his exaggerated, Ruben-esque paintings, is depicting the crimes at Abu-Gharib in a new collection that apparently is too outre for my city's museums.

Says New York Magazine:

"'Abu Ghraib was a shock to the whole world, and I was angry,” says Botero, who has dubbed the suite of works “my Guernica,” referring to the antiwar Picasso painting. The controversial exhibition, a hit in Rome and Germany, has brought the artist his best critical notices in years. So why is it opening at a blue-chip but somewhat blue-haired 57th Street gallery, especially as the works aren’t even for sale? Botero says the “Abu Ghraib” series is at Marlborough because museums won’t show it."

I'm looking forward to the exhibit, even though it's an unnecessary rehashing of the events at Abu Gharib. I can see why the painter chose to select this particular incident as a platform for a statement against the war, I think there is more going on in Iraq that could be addressed by the painter's unique style to make a similarly impactful statement. For instance, how cool would portraits of a fat W or Saddam be, or even Osama?

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