Fernando Botero important donation to Medellin
17-years ago today, the internationally renowned Latin American artist Fernando Botero donated artworks from his personal collection to his native city of Medellín, Colombia. The collection has an estimated value of $200 million, and includes his own paintings and sculptures, as well as 100 pieces by 19th and 20th Century masters such as Dali, Picasso, Monet and Francis Bacon.
The artist’s gift was an effort to help heal this city, which has been plagued by Cartel drug warfare. In addition to the works from his private collection, in 1999 he began executing new work in a very uncharacteristically Botero manner, departing from his usual subject matter and directly confronting the issues surrounding Columbia’s violent past. Two of the most alluring paintings feature the former drug lord Pablo Escobar and another FARC revolutionary Manuel Marulanda.
The purpose of these paintings for the artist was to no longer seek out an escape from Columbia’s tumultuous history, but rather to meet it head on in order to create a sense of awareness by visually addressing the issues faced by the local people, and in the process to provide a sense of catharsis.
In recent years’ crime rates in Medellín have dropped, this is in part due to do with the government’s demobilisation of paramilitaries. However, the power of art is never to be underestimated and Botero’s artistic donations have undoubtedly contributed to helping Medellín to move forward and embrace a more peaceful future.
To discover more about Fernando Botero, click here.
N.B. These images are not the property of ContiniArtUK and were sourced online.