October 17, 2006

Abu Ghraib in Paint


An Article on a traveling exhibition of Columbian artist Fernando Botero's series of paintings based on the Abu Ghraib prison photos. 

From the article:

Naked figures writhe in an eerie darkness. Vicious beasts bare their teeth and snarl. The faces of lost souls cry out in unimaginable agony, forced into strange and contorted positions reminiscent of crucifixion.
Such a vision evokes a scene of the apocalypse typical of 15th-century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. But no, these paintings by Colombian artist Fernando Botero are depictions of real events. Despite their hellish subject matter, they are all meticulously based on photographs and press accounts of the torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003.
It seems hard to credit, but Mr. Botero says the pictures, which many will undoubtedly view as a scathing indictment of American foreign policy, are not meant to convey a political message.
Although he admits that President Bush "is not my favorite president," Mr. Botero says art has no effect on political realities, adding that his work is merely a relic to be looked upon by future generations as evidence of events past.
"You just leave a testimony," he said. "It's something that comes from the heart. It's something immortal that moves you to do your work."

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