Themes and Key Words:
Arts, Biography, Painting, Sculpture
Canada / Colombia
52′ | 80′
Hogan Millar Media
Website / Trailer
Botero is the definitive documentary profile of the world’s most popular living artist. Fernando Botero’s work crosses cultural boundaries and his appeal transcends the traditional art world. As this film moved from concept to completion in three years, more than 3.6 million people have enjoyed his work at exhibitions in Asia, the Americas and Europe. He is renowned as the only artist to ever have has his sculptures appear on boulevards and in plazas in 20 major global cities; Botero is the living artist with the most museum exhibitions and his works routinely sell for seven figures around the world.
Botero takes a poetic approach to provide a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the life and art this intensely private painter and sculptor. Viewers will be inspired to see Botero’s commitment to a unique artistic vision power his rise from provincial Colombia to become “the Maestro,” still active in his studio at 86 years old. The film was shot in 10 cities in China, Colombia, France, Italy, Monaco and the United States.
MORE ABOUT FILM
Colombian artist Fernando Botero is one of unmistakeable style – the round figures and smooth faces are unquestionably his. His paintings and sculptures have been shown around the world, and his works spark a response in critics and children alike. At the core of his art is an unwavering commitment to a set of ideals surrounding volume, sensuality, and art history. His style is his lens on the whole world – ballerinas, bullfighters, drug traffickers, bishops and prostitutes – nothing escapes Botero’s brush
As he settles into his 80s, Botero reflects on a life of youthful passions, a self-made education in Europe, and the mastering of his crafts throughout decades of change in the art world. He recounts markers of success, status, and excellence across the globe – public museums in Colombia erected in his name, shows in China with over one million visitors, and an exhibition of Boteros and Picassos side by side in France. Yet to the Maestro, all of these accolades pale in comparison to his time in the studio. In the artist’s own words – “my life is to paint.”
Botero, the film, explores this amazing journey with intimate interviews with the artist, his family, and leading figures in the art world. The film also includes first-hand encounters with Botero’s still wildly popular public exhibitions and never-before-seen glimpses into his personal archives, untouched for forty years.
Botero was filmed in Aix-en-Provence, Bogota, Florence, Medellin, Monaco, New York, Paris, Tuscany and Rome between May 2017 and April 2018. Additional footage was collected from Botero’s visits to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai in 2015 and 2016, as well as from archival sources. The film features an original score recorded by a 23-piece string orchestra.
In November 2015 Fernando Botero made his first visit to China, and I was along for the ride.
Maestro Botero became the first living western artist to exhibit at the National Museum of China on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square – a highlight in a lifetime of honors.
As as a guest at the opening events, watching Botero placidly navigate the chaos and excitement stimulated my curiosity. Seeing his art touch the masses a world away from his Colombian birthplace inspired my passion to tell the story of his life.
One year later Lina Botero, an art world expert and a wonderful story teller, agreed to join the project. With Lina, the artist’s only daughter, as our tour guide through Botero’s exciting world, our team literally hit the road in Europe, the United States and Colombia.
This journey of discovery that has revealed a man who, remarkably, seems to draw strength from elite opposition to his unique artistic vision. We have learned about Botero’s calling as a man grounded in the history of art, determined to bring a smile to average people far beyond the salons and galleries that define success for many artists.
Our mission is to tell the inspiring story of a massively successful man who, at 85, still enters his studio every day with humility, simply determined to master his craft.
MORE ABOUT DIRECTOR – Don Millar
Botero director Don Millar is a Canadian citizen working between Vancouver and Los Angeles.
In directing the film, Millar combined wide-ranging experience as a storyteller working in film and television with his passion for the visual arts. Millar also drew on a 20-year relationship with the family of Fernando Botero.
His previous directorial credits include the climate change documentary Oil Slick, the biopic Full Force about rugby star Harry Jones and the scripted narrative Off The Clock. Millar has directed dozens of advocacy and advertising projects for television and online release.
Millar is a photographer, painter, and writer in his own right, as well as a former board member for the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery.
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
2018 International Morelia Film Festival, Mexico
PRESS & REVIEWS
“With unprecedented access, the film is a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the 86-year-old’s private life and art.”