FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Botero Immortalizes Bush

Every presidency leaves its marks on history. For George W. Bush, these marks now include an immortalization by one of the most celebrated painters in the world, Fernando Botero — but the memories immortalized may not be the ones the president wants remembered.

Highlighting the human rights abuses and acts of torture committed under Bush, an exhibition of 50 paintings by Botero will open June 16th at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome. The exhibit focuses on the horrors of the Abu Ghraib prison, and marks a new theme for Botero’s work, including his famous “gordos”, which has previously been shown in museums and galleries from New York to Paris.

Colombia’s “Diners Magazine“, in a worldwide exclusive, recently reproduced samples of Botero’s latest exhibit . Therein, readers can experience, in Botero’s inimitable style, the images that have made up one of the most shameful, cruel, and inhuman episodes of Bush’s regime, and of United States military history: the base humiliation and torture of countless Iraqis, guilty of nothing more than occupying the wrong space at the wrong time. These images will doubtless join the collective human psyche, adding another layer to the strata of man’s inhumanity to man, joining previous chapters, from the Spanish Inquisition to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.

 

Through the smoke and mirrors of the neo-conservative ideology, what was once regarded by some as “the foremost democracy on earth” has been made into the foremost representation of torture in our time, and been captured by Botero’s brushes, exemplifying on canvas how quickly the thin layers of civilization can be peeled away to reveal emotions and motives so recently believed to have no place in our modern world.

But Botero is not the first world-class artist to denounce the injustices of his time by way of brush-strokes. Francisco JosÈ de Goya depicted Napoleonic massacres and Inquisitorial horrors of the 19th century, and Pablo Picasso showed the world the horrors of war crimes in Guernica, through his work by the same name denouncing Francisco Franco’s nod to the Nazis, who bombed it to ruins in 1937.

Following this honorable tradition of artists compelled to keep the unsavory aspects of their era from fading out of mind, Botero has proven that, from Medellin to Baghdad, he is quite capable of reflecting the full range of human nature, from the most noble to the most abominable. Ironically, it was Bush himself who once stated “The true history of my administration will be written 50 years from now, and you and I will not be around to see it.” But for you, the reader, there’s good news: you won’t have to wait 50 years to see the history of this administration. Should you show up on a certain date in June, at a particular art exhibit in Rome, you’ll be able to see its history painted in full color, with its acts exposed for all the world to judge. It has been painted on history’s wall of shame, so that we may never forget that those who would call themselves our benefactors can sometimes be the cruelest of all.

MARIO LAMO JIMÉNEZ is a founding member of the Colombian Alliance of Writers and Journalists and coeditor of its publication “La Hojarasca“. He can be reached at admin.@escritoresyperiodistas.com.

 

More articles by:
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail