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Larger Than Life (Review: BOTERO)

If you're in the mood for walking through the personal history of the most popular living artists in today's society, then it is time to check out Don Millar's film BOTERO, which documents the life and work of Fernando Botero. Predominantly known as both a painter and sculptor, Botero has a very distinct signature style influenced by Piero Della Francesca and Picasso - every subject in his work is voluminous and exaggeratedly larger than life, simultaneously representing political criticism and adding a dash of humor.


Like many documentaries of this nature, it is much easier to label the film a spotlight or a tribute, as once it gives an outline of his life, the doc focuses on praising Botero and his work. But you certainly learn a lot about him: from the death of his father in Colombia, to living in an apartment with no heat in Madrid, all the way to the moment when he began forming his own personal style, giving a mandolin in his painting a disproportionately small hole. The documentary then dives straight into the different periods of his art, showcasing the different series that he made and the different mediums he used.


His three adult children give interviews full of praise for their father (the daughter, Lina, practically seems like an agent, with all the flowery words she says about his work), and Botero himself, alive and well at 88 years old, gives an interview as well, remembering pieces of his past on screen.


It is a thorough depiction of the man's life, and the popularity he has had throughout his artistic career (and, to be fair, it includes those who don't like his work). What a celebration of a man who knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life. You can now watch BOTERO on-demand at midtowncinema.com!

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