The artist once remarked, "I never give expressive facial features to my human figures. I don't want them to have personalities but to represent "types" that I create...What I am concerned with is form--creating smooth, rounded surfaces that emphasize the sensuality of my work."(1)
Fernando Botero was forever marked by the masterpieces his saw upon his first trip to Italy in 1952. There, he discovered the Renaissance for the first time and as he had at the age of fifteen when he first opened a book on art in his native Medellín, he was besotted. What he discovered was how the world was shaped--how forms look in movement and while static--how the eye perceives mass, structure and light. From the greats della Francesca, Donatello, Ucello and other Italian masters, Botero learned how to see the world he would eventually create.
Botero's dancing couple motif has appeared in many of the artist's paintings such as Dancing in Colombia, 1980 and Dancers, 2002. Rendered in the nude, the couple, whose massive volume is palpable, remain sensual just as a balmy summer night. Botero allows us to see through his eyes--how his ideal is a construction of wit and charm. We too discover a world alien to our eyes yet unconditionally enthralling to our senses.
1) E. J. Sullivan, Botero: Sculpture, Abbeville Press, New York, 1986, p. 55.