56 paintings and drawings on Abu Ghraib by Botero valued at millions, donated by famed painter, to arrive at UCB on 9-22-09

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Conversation-BoteroHass-Sturmann-3.jpgOn September 22, 2009, the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum (BAM) will welcome Fernando Botero's generous gift of 26 paintings and 30 drawings from his Abu Ghraib series to Berkeley and to the museum's permanent collection. Valued in the multiple millions -- although Botero has always said they would never be for sale -- this is the largest gift in BAM's history and one of the largest in the history of any American university collection. Botero began work on this series in the summer of 2004 after reading Seymour Hersh's revelatory and disturbing report on torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib in The New Yorker. His images are not strictly documentary, not a translation of the infamous and much reproduced snapshots into another media. They are a great artist's effort "to make invisible things visible," to represent and thereby interpret, through a new visual vocabulary, the outrages that had been perpetrated on Iraqi prisoners in American custody. The benign and gently grotesque figures for which Botero is famous have become dark and malignly grotesque figures of the body humiliated and in pain.

Download this PDF BRLAS-Spring2009-Laqueur.pdf  to read the entire article from the Spring 2009 issue of the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies.

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This page contains a single entry published on June 9, 2009 11:13 PM.

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