At the entrance to the Plaza de las Esculturas, or Plaza Botero as it has come to be known, I found many street photographers as well as guides offering their services to me. But I explored the square by myself. The most famous artist of the city, Fernando Botero donated 23 of his statues to the city which placed them on this square at the doorstep of the Museo de Antioquia, which holds more works of the famous son of the city. Moreover, the square is now known as the Plaza Botero in his honour. His sculptures, famous for the exaggerated forms of the figures represented, are easily recognized. On Plaza Botero, the majority of the figures are voluptuous naked women, but you can also find a few masculine figures, as well as a dog, cat and horse, and a sphinx. Then, there is also a giant hand which is unique in that it does not represent a human or animal.
Since the square is on a very central location in downtown Medellín, lots of people pass through it every day, and even on this Sunday afternoon, it was full of Colombians taking a stroll. More than that: most were drawn to the statues and sculptures in one way or another. While some would just look at the statues as if they were exposed in a museum, others sat on the edge to have a rest. The statues are attractive and invite people to interact with them. Kids find the statues great to climb, and do not seem to mind having a rest between the spread legs of a colossal woman. Some adults are more aware of the sensuality at least some of the statues have. It is easy to see by examining the statues which parts have been touched most.
At one point, a wedding couple was having their pictures taken near some of the statue, until the bride was carried to one of the lying women, posing with a little shy smile in front of it - what she did not notice, was her husband who threw himself up the enormous ass of the statue. But even though some people might be incited to vulgar behaviour when confronted with statues of naked people, the great thing of the Botero statues in the open air, available to everyone, is that it makes art so much more accessible to all. It is hard to imagine these statues inside a museum, with only a selected audience to enjoy them.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Plaza Botero (Colombia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Plaza Botero. Read more about this site.