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Fernando Botero

The art scene will be making its annual pilgrimage down South this month, for the Miami Art Basel festival. Attendees would be well advised to carve out some time for a visit to the Botero Monumental Sculpture show, a production of the city’s soon-to-open Nader Latin American Art Museum that is currently on view in Biscayne Boulevard’s Bayfront Park. The exhibition features fifteen of the renowned Colombian artist’s large-scale sculptures—and they are instantly recognizable as Boteros, given that his fleshy take on the female form is as stamped with his creative signature as those of Rubens are.
Mr. Valentino owns two Fernando Boteros. Appropriately enough, these paintings are both called “Femme Meiade de Valentino”—“Woman Dressed in Valentino.” One is a portrait of a Botero woman clad in a black gown with pouf sleeves and an elaborately pleated collar; the other painting features perhaps the same woman, now seen from the back, wearing a red, one-shoulder gown. They’re looks from the Spring/Summer 1981 haute couture collection, and the Botero paintings of them were commissioned by Vogue Paris as part of a multi-designer portfolio. The red gown, of satin-finished organdie draped in a spiral, was later shot—to very different effect—on Brooke Shields, for the collection’s campaign. (And Stephen Klein would go on to shoot it again, for 2000’s Valentino Red Book.) Of course, Botero’s take on the gown was sui generis, a tribute to the monumentality of the female spirit that Miami-goers can revisit in the Bayfront Park sculpture show.
Botero Monumental Sculpture is on view through January, 2016. 

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