Mr. Botero, 73, who lives in Paris and New York, has taken on an even more explosive topic: the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Forty-eight paintings and sketches – of naked prisoners attacked by dogs, dangling from ropes, beaten by guards, in a mangled heap of bodies – will be exhibited in Rome at the Palazzo Venezia museum on June 16. “These works are a result of the indignation that the violations in Iraq produced in me and the rest of the world,” Mr. Botero said by telephone from his Paris studio. “I began to do some very fluid drawings, and then I began to paint and the results are 50 works inspired by this great crime.”
‘Great Crime’ at Abu Ghraib Enrages and Inspires an Artist – New York Times:
This is a fascinating look at how an artist can be taken over by an idea and reinvent themselves, pushing through to a completely original series. you may recall that I touched on war art last week, asking why there isn’t more art surrounding the latest war. I am glad to see that there is some art being created, questioning the war and the futility of it, and bringing atrocities to the public eye.
I think art is harder to ignore than photographs or news stories. it can push the boundaries of censorship and can incite further emotional responses. This may sound weird but I think art can have more of a presence and has the ability to touch people in a very powerful way. These paintings by Botero are so striking and real, I think it took great strength to paint them and present them in such a light.