A native of the local Antioquia region, Fernando Botero is known primarily for his paintings, more than 90 of which are found in Medellin’s Museo de Antioquia. This is a must see, plus he donated key paintings from his private collection which include works by Picasso and other modern artists. But the works of Botero truly loved by the residents of Medellin are his sculptures, spread throughout the Plazoleto de las Esculturas outside the Museo and here and there in other parts of the city.
Passersby love to rub their hands over the brass sculptures. Some sections, such as a breast, knee or a foot, were polished to a sheen from the contact, compared to the darker finish created by the artist. Was it coincidental that a group of men gathered each day around the statue Hombre a Caballo (man on horseback)? Fun to observe.
The sculptures of reclining women were a favorite of children who were boosted up to sit on their legs. Botero exaggerates his subjects’ shapes, making them shorter and more fully fleshed than in reality. Reminding us of the works of Benaimino (Benny) Bufano, whose softly rounded granite shapes adorn San Francisco, CA, Botero’s works offer a contrast in the soft, smooth roundness of the figures contrasted with the hard, solid brass with granite mounts.
Photography is difficult since residents and tourists enjoy circling the artist’s works, watching the shapes and colors interact. Centrally located and easy to get to, the sculpture garden is well worth two visits if you are xone who enjoys modern art.