No Strings Attached: Fernando Botero's "Boy Playing Guitar" in Context
Olmstead, Darcy L.
Washington and Lee University -- Honors in Art History
Botero, Fernando, 1932-
Art -- Political aspects
Political violence in art
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Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Darcy L. Olmstead is a member of the Class of 2021 of Washington and Lee University.This thesis serves to expand upon our understanding of Fernando Botero's early career through the analysis of an undocumented work entitled "Boy Playing Guitar." This painting is a crucial work in Botero's early stylistic development and gives insight into how the artist was influenced by Colombian politics at the height of La Violencia as well as Cold War tensions in the United States. The guitar, as an important instrument in Colombian music and identity, is a recurring character in Botero's oeuvre, but little has been written on the artist's refusal to paint guitar strings. Using the guitar and its lack of strings as a focal point, this thesis delves into how Botero's formal decisions in "Boy Playing Guitar" are rooted in the politics and violence of the artist's time period.