Monday, May 03, 2004

Painting narratives of a cruel war

The New York Times publishes today an article about the recent donation of fifty paintings and sketches, made by Colombian artist Fernando Botero to the Museo Nacional in Bogotá.

These are works that represent a break from the traditional style and concept that has characterized the painter. War and violence are depicted in a very vivid manner. The "pictures intended to alarm and sadden, depict a conflict that is little understood outside Latin America: the brutal, drug-fueled guerrilla war that has been going on for 40 years in Colombia," according to Juan Forero, the journalist in charge of the article.

Besides the article there is a short and very interesting slide show where one can appreciate some of the paintings accompanied by sound and voice over.

I am horrified by Botero's pictures. I also feel that is very sad that it took so much horror to happen before a great artist like him took the trouble to portrait the conflict. I hope the attention these pictures get will somehow help people reflect and imagine another Colombia: a country without guns and war.

Unfortunately Colombia as well as Israel are examples of countries where the Military Industry of the United States and some countries in Europe have found the best arena to commercialize their "toys" contributing in this manner to spread fear, war, horror and death.


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