The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

That’s Right, He Said SENSUAL

on August 3, 2013

The Bath – Fernando Botero

In 1995 I did the back pack thing and visited London, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Paris, Lyon, Geneva, Venice, Florence, Sienna and Rome in one month.  I was lighter than I am now, but I was the heaviest back packer that my friend and I encountered and while I did struggle at times I did it and I am proud that I didn’t let my weight stop me from a once in a life time trip.

When one is backpacking one is essentially carrying their entire life on their back.  Each and every day you lift that pack onto your back and you are carrying your clothes and toiletries, bedding, towels, washing powder, journal, books, tour guide(s) and gifts for home all at once.  Nowadays with smartphones and tablets some of the weight might be reduced, but then there are chargers and adapters and such to worry about.  On our journey we bumped into two young women from Kitchener/Waterloo (about an hour outside Toronto).  One was named Kelly and as she was blonde her friend called her “Lemon Head”, the name of the friend escapes me.  We initially met them in Paris and then ran into them again in Lyon and since all Canadian’s must know each other we were bunked in together at the hostel where the clerk kept telling me how much he liked my last name which is very similar to the name of a popular gangster movie.  The two girls aren’t significant to my story except that I found it hilarious that they had convinced their respective parents that they must have contact lenses to fully appreciate and enjoy their European tour, but this was in the days before disposable lenses and neither of them had factored in the excessive weight of carrying around three months of contact solutions and supplies.

But I digress.  When I was in Europe I discovered the work of Botero.  I came across a lovely art book at a Parisian book stall, but it was massive and there was no way I was going to carry it around under my arm for the next twenty days. So I did the next best thing.  I bought postcards of his work that I could tuck into my travel journal where they wouldn’t get squished.  My favourite was “The Bath”.

I am not an art lover.  That isn’t to say that I can’t appreciate art, I just really don’t have the vocabulary to express my appreciation and there is a lot of art that I just simply don’t understand and I haven’t had the benefit of a guide or teacher who can explain it to me.  I do like the work of Henry Moore which one finds at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), but if pressed to explain my attraction the only descriptor I can offer you is that I like that it is smooth.

My lack of vocabulary hinders me from describing my appreciation of Botero’s work, but I think we can agree that it has something to do with the fact that the subjects are fat and well smooth.  Some of his work puzzles me as I don’t necessarily understand the religious or cultural significance, but still his aesthetic tickles me.  I did worry that perhaps he was mocking fat people or using it as a negative in his work, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“I fatten my characters to give them sensuality. I’m not interested in fat people for the sake of fat people.”

~Fernando Botero

I take from this quote that Botero won’t be leading the charge for “Fat Power” or the like, but he does seem to appreciate the curves.

When I got back to Toronto I moved into my first apartment and proudly hung my framed postcard of “The Bath” in my bathroom.  When my father visited he was appalled.  He couldn’t figure out why I would hang a picture of a fat woman in my bathroom, never mind a nude one, but it was my postcard and my bathroom and I refused to take her down.  A year later I moved in with my dad so I could save for a house and I wasn’t allowed to put her in the bathroom, so I bought this magnet for the fridge.

Venus – Fernando Botero

She is still proudly displayed on my fridge and while some may think she is funny or even a little sad, I think she is gorgeous.

– the Goddess


3 responses to “That’s Right, He Said SENSUAL

  1. Exactly why Rubens paintings appeal to me, because they’re more “real”.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to this artist.

  3. You might enjoy this

    I would love to see some of Botero’s sculpture in person.

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