* By Raul “Mustache” Acosta
One of the examples of Argentine politics are the pelicans, those esdrújulas birds. The other is Botero. We Argentines are a bit of a pelican and a lot of Botero.
The pelican flies in a flock, but it launches to eat individually and returns to the flock, which receives it without problems. He did what he had to. The Argentine political class is like the pelicans. Whoever finds the food swoops down and the gang accepts it, it’s one of their own. In due time everyone eats in that flock. We know those who eat for more than 30 years, without stopping. Difficult to eat like pelicans… if you don’t know the individual/collective way of pelicans, politicians, turncoats, politicians, well, bah, the pelicans that you see flying, hunting and keeping quiet above the waters in Cartagena.
Botero is something else, but it is the same. We are going to have to talk about Botero, Botero lives in Italy. He has a huge woman – fat – resting in the former bus station of Mar del Plata, today a shopping center, Paseo Aldrey. It was Mr. Aldrey who bought the Botero. Botero’s extended woman.
In his Botero Museum, in Bogotá, there are many Boteros and works that other artists gave him or he bought and donated. It is not the García Márquez Foundation, which goes hand in hand with the intellectual progress of Colombia. Botero exhibits his pictures and paintings and if something helps well, it’s not bad and finally it’s good but… but… something happens with Botero and it’s solving this question: it’s vindication or use of women with large, extra large measurements and extra extra large that is: double x ele (2 XL)
The question we must ask ourselves is this: if what Botero shows is an absolute or simply a look, I will be – if I can – more clear and ask: this is how women are for Botero, there are nuns, beggars, young prostitutes, beloved girls and princesses that – if it is still allowed— they are fat, according to the old classic concept of beauty, the Adonis and the Apollo, as you want or, just, this is the doubt: Botero’s look at women who were postponed, never hidden and that, simply, they were not to the liking of Modigliani and the creators of jeans and, therefore, Botero vindicates fatness or it is a formula to charge for his paintings and sculptures and therefore there will be cubism, realism, hyper realism, even Polak if is wanted and finally Boterismo. If it is born and ends with it is one thing. Universalizing the boat trade is something else.
Small detail. I say “women of Botero” because Botero does not manage extra large measures for men, he paints us very little… there must be a reason.
“THE NOZZLE” IS WHAT WE KNOW VERY WELL
There is an area of Cartagena, next to the waters, that is difficult to enter because there are only small cuts left and a single street that makes it easier – a little – to get to “La Boquilla”.
State land that the private sector wants the State to take away from the fishermen who go out… they come back with their catch and love their little places to eat their catch, sell their catch, cook for visitors… the catch. There is no rent, of course, nor running water.
They have built small huts or gazebos on the coast, anyone goes and sits with their meals; They are public beaches that at dusk illuminate the reflection of the sea. Inside they have their houses that are as they imagine…
Whoever was taking me ignored our gaze on the coast of El San Javier or El Paraná, El Salado, El Carcarañá, gosh, we know how the towpath disappeared in many places before the complacent and complicit gaze of the mayors and governors.
Those who live there, with the joy that the tropical climate offers, have only one advantage, only one, the winter is not the Argentine one, the helplessness I think is less there than here, or different helplessness. Here the helplessness is great and difficult to hide but it is a tropical or equatorial climate. Ours is different, it is a more hypocritical climate, ours say that they are going to save the poor, worse, they say it and believe that we believe them. Anyway…
THE GETHSEMANE NEIGHBORHOOD
Within the historic center, so full of street vendors of whatever comes to mind (yes, whatever comes to mind) is the Getsemaní neighborhood. Some streets that used to be very dangerous, always poor and now exploiting joy in the midst of sadness. It is the place they call Gethsemane. Yes, I know what the garden of the day before is in the Old Testament…etc.
The Getsemaní neighborhood has police custody in groups of three at the corner and half-block ratio, they come and go, three groups of three per block. It will be a square of about six streets and alleys. Alcohol and noise and tropical music. One of the hubs is Havana (with a short V) a music site. Dance and listen and greet and share with an air of Cuba from behind while the salsa, the rumba and I confess that when a woman sang “quimbara / quimbara / quimbambum / bambé”… I was amazed with Celia Cruz. At the top there was a photo of the Great Black who went to the United States because Fidel was too deaf … as she said. And he was right. Gethsemane, after all, is a happy song… in the midst of nostalgia. We also know that