Friday, April 14, 2006

Botero and Abu-Ghraib

It took me more than a year to hear about the works of one of my favorite contemporary painters, Fernando Botero, on an unusual subject for his type of paintings: Abu-Ghraib. I heard about the works from a friend coming from Iran. I had not seen him for 11 years. I felt very sad when I found out that he not only is more up-to-date about the works of our favorite painters, moviemakers, and photographers but he also knows the details about the works of many artists whose works are on show in LA galleries but are completely unknown to me.

Getting the news from my friend was somehow embarrassing. While listening to him, I was thinking I know more about the details of Angelina Jolie's relationship with Brad Pitt than the latest works of Botero. The food is probably cheaper here in the US and I can pay my rent much easier in LA comparing to Tehran, but when you look at the cultural side of life you feel something is trebly missing here, even when you actively fight against it.


  1. i'd seen these paintings before. someone sent them to me via email, but i hadnt been familiar with the painter. and i know what you mean about being in the midst of cultural production and yet somehow knowing more about britney spears than the latest exhibit by artists one likes that may be on display just around the corner. sometimes i learn about U.S. films, books, etc. from reading blogs and other publications that come out of iran.

  2. I have never come across Botero before. Thank you for enlightening me!

  3. This was news in late 2004 or early 2005. I know Botero because I am Mexican. Believe me it is not difficult to stay abreast of the world of art, literature and culture in Latin America. Since that is my culture I do know about it but I am fascinated by Iranian art and culture so I try to stay in the know about it. Now if only I could learn Farsi.