The latest Botero exhibition by Medellin’s maestro artist is currently on display at the Museo de Antioquia in Medellin. Via Crusis: La Pasion de Cristo, or The Stations of the Cross: The Passion of Christ was first exhibited in New York before arriving in Medellin. This Botero exhibition is a special one, for it celebrates the maestro’s 80th birthday. I went to take a look at what one of my favourite modern artists had created to celebrate his grand milestone.
The poster for this Botero Exhibition.
Botero has been wowing art lovers worldwide for over five decades. He has a unique style of painting and sculpting that is loved by many, myself included. This exhibition of pieces was completely on the subject of the Christian story of the Stations of the Cross. Botero demonstrates in these pieces the pain that is borne by the man god and the people around him. This is also the first time I have ever seen Jesus painted as a fat man. But what else would you expect from The Maestro, Fernando Botero?
Kiss of Judas
The above painting “The Kiss of Judas” is one of the examples in this Botero exhibition of how he brings the modern world into the Stations of the Cross. Notice the well dressed man pointing at Jesus while Judas is kissing him? Doesn’t quite fit in to the 1st century mode of fashion.
In the above painting, “Crucifiction”, Botero paints a common scene in Christianity, the Crucifiction, in an uncommon local, Central Park in New York. This was to make the point that the crucifiction of Jesus is the centre point of the world, even in modern times.
Jesus wasn’t the only famous Bible character that featured prominently in this Botero exhibition. Mary, the mother of the god in the flesh, also was featured prominently. Considering Mary’s place within Catholicism, it is not a surprise that she would be featured in an exhibition on Christ’s death. I am assuming that the above painting is not the way most people picture Mary to look. This is the unique perspective that makes Fernando Botero’s paintings interesting.
Another part of this exhibition that I truly enjoyed was how Botero used some of the big players from the violent past of Colombia as the perpetrators of the evil-doings against Jesus. In this painting one of Pablo Escobar’s top lieutenants is used as the guard that spears Jesus on the cross.
In the above drawing, “The Kiss of Judas”, Botero forgets any allusions to Pablo Escobar, and uses him as the most demonized character in Christianity: Judas. My interpretation of this would be that Pablo Escobar spent his life selling out Colombia for his own personal gain, while Judas sold out Jesus for personal gain as well.
If you’d like to see it for yourself, it’s here in Medellin until the end of August 2012 at the Museo de Antioquia. It’s in the park where all of his statues are proudly displayed in Central Medellin. It’s open from 10am-5:30pm Monday – Saturday, and 10am – 4:30pm Sundays and Holidays. It costs 10,000COP ($5.50USD) to enter, and your entry ticket is valid for all of the temporary exhibitions, including Viacrucis. Here’s instructions on how to get there:
How to Get to The Botero Statue Park in Medellin:
By Metro: Take the main metro line to the Parque de Berrio stop, and you won’t be able to miss the statues.
By Taxi: Ask the driver to go to “Museo de Antioquia”.