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Uomo con Violino, 2006Pencil on paper 12 1/4 h x 16 1/8 w in 31.12 h x 40.97 w cm
Uomo con Violino is a beautiful pencil on paper drawing that exemplifies Botero’s fascination with whimsical performers. Drawing from art history, Botero synthesized the art historical genres of human form and entertainment with contemporary elements and themes from contemporary Latin American life, such as violinists. Uomo can Violino depicts a man with a three-piece suit and brimmed hat, smoking a cigarette and holding a violin and its bow. The robust figure, with amusing proportions of small facial features and tiny hands, highlight Botero’s emphasis on volume and sensuality of form.
Botero renders the performer and his violin in his signature rotund technique of ‘Boterismo.’ The exaggerated figures and objects are sites of experimentation, as they allow Botero to apply delicate shading with a sensuality and profusion of form. Like many of Botero’s works on paper, this piece doesn’t contain a finished background, focusing the viewer on the figures. Botero masterfully creates a composition full of motion of the cigarette spoke and careful human forms, a method also seen in his other performance works, Clown con Palla, Pas de Deux, and Cantante.
Botero’s works on paper have grown in demand over the years. The bodies in the drawings retain their robust forms with all the gracefulness of Botero’s paintings, but are smaller and more approachable in his drawings. These fleshy yet innocent figures are rendered with skills of a master artist.