-Edward Sullivan, Botero Sculpture, New York 1986, pp. 132-137
The horse motif undeniably stands out as one of the most desirable among Fernando Botero's sculptural oeuvre. A beloved and widely celebrated subject, Cavallo exudes an extraordinary presence. Bearing an expression of proud dominance and regal determination, it is rendered as a refined and graceful being: powerful in its musculature and mighty physicality. Reminiscent of the elegance and nobility of classical sculpture, Cavallo brings to mind the artist’s childhood recollections of Colombia, where the famous “Paso Fino” horses, with their sleek and ambling gait, are proudly bred.
Botero did not begin exploring the sculptural field until he was in his early 30's. At the time, he experimented with porous materials such as acrylic resin and sawdust since bronze was costly. Prior to developing his interest in the three-dimensional realm, Botero had been a fervent figurative painter whose canvases display a strong influence of Spanish colonial architecture. The specific architectural language in discussion, characterized by the contrasting elements of practical, robust simplicity and excessive embellishment of the Baroque, seems to have found its sculptural equivalent in Botero's bronzes. Exemplified by Cavallo, the sculpture's highly chased surface emanates a minimalist aura while the superfluous trait typical of the Baroque is translated into the overly inflated appearance of Botero's sculptural bodies. The resulting effect is a sensual visual experience whereby the viewer's gaze caresses the voluptuous anatomy of the rotund creature guided by the gliding light on the smooth flawless alloy. This is further encouraged by the animal's seemingly tamed nature, signified by its submissively lowered head.
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