42 Boteros Three Musicians

42 • Botero's Three Musicians

Colombia, 1983
40 × 30 cm (unframed)
Offset lithograph printed in colours on wove
One of 26 signed copies
Signed bottom right
‘y/z’ written in pencil bottom left
Published by Pierre Restany, Geneva

‘Man needs music, literature, and painting – all those oases of perfection that make up art – to compensate for the rudeness and materialism of life.’
Fernando Botero (born 1932)

In 1956 Botero was living in Mexico City when he painted a mandolin with an unusually small sound hole (Still Life with Mandolin). It proved a breakthrough and opened up a new world of exaggerated proportions: ‘It made the mandolin look gigantic, so I saw that making the details small made the form monumental.’

Botero returned often to the theme of music and here his signature rotund figures fill the image, making the print seem too small to contain the three musicians and giving the sense that their performance is bursting with energy.