Poodle

7:00 AM

Ferdinando Botero, Poodle, 1971
By ALEXA BIRT

Mom, I gift you Poodle not only to give you a chuckle, but also as an intervention. You feed Rudy (her own grey poodle) way too many treats. At the rate you're going, his form has the potential to resemble that of the overweight dog in Poodle. Please, do us all a favor and stop the madness.
 
Poodle, a painting by Ferdinando Botero, depicts an obese grey poodle resting on an ornate carpet. This work completed in 1971 can be considered as "Naïve Art," meaning that it includes childlike simplicity in its manner. This naïveté can be demonstrated in either or both subject matter and technique. While some artists who create "Naïve Art" may have little to no artistic training, others have studied classical art or received university training.
 
Ferdinando Botero, born in 1932, was always fascinated with visual art and at the age of 16 had his first illustrations published in a Columbian newspaper. As an adult, he traveled with a group of artists around Barcelona and moved to Paris in 1953, where he spent much of his time at the Louvre. Since then, Botero has earned international recognition for his paintings and sculptures.
 
Botero's work has manifested its own signature style, called "Boterismo," in which the subject matter is exaggerated to critique politics or create humor. In Poodle, the subject matter is by far larger than your average poodle. In today's culture, the breed is typically regarded as prissy and feminine. Looking at Poodle, you might laugh, then feel bad for the poor animal, and maybe even be a little grossed out. The innocence of the small yellow bows adorning the poodle's ears add to the contradicting emotions portrayed by this painting.

To Rudy, I want to apologize for all the times I called you fat. You're not fat, just a little too "Boterismo."

Editor's Note: Students were asked to give a painting to someone or something they cared for. These are their moving responses.

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