Botero’s Model

By Dora A. Ayora Talavera | @DoraAyora

My grandfather was spherical. If Botero had had the opportunity to meet him, he would have been captivated. His anatomy with 360° was perfect. He was not very elegant; he always wore a kind of capri troursers, tied with a belt that crossed perfectly around  his big belly, which could just close in the last hole. My grandfather never wore closed shoes; his fat feets and toes could never fit with in them. He always walked with espadrilles made by his own and made from wheels and sisal robe, which he passed in the middle of his big toe and tied in his calf. He no wore shirts; he wore 100 % cotton underwear with short sleeves and a palm leaf hat.

I dare to say that his spherical condition left a scar in his life and that is the reason he cultivated from traditional oranges, gray fruits and limes to exotic fruits like nance, huaya and caimito. The circularity of his harvest maybe was associated with his circular and bald head, to his belly as big as a planet and to his brown, bulky and scaly face mole. I am pretty sure that,  if he would have cultivated bananas and egg plants they would have been round.

That life style was reflected in all his belongings. For example, his transport was a bicycle with two tick and huge wheels, perfect to bear all his kilos and the distances in the town to sell his products. In addition he had a cart with small and methalic wheels to its step shaking eardrumps and streets. No less important, was his tricycle, strong, solid to transport wooden crate full of circled-shaped fruits, and sometimes to transport his spherical wife because of her weight she could not walk.

His house was oval, not exactly the same like west side White House in Washington; rather the classic mayan house made from palm leaf and just one room. Where harmoniously took up the same space the bedroom and living room. At night his hammock hung from walls which disappeared in the morning to welcome the living room.

My grandfather’s love for roundness led him to dedicate to agriculture and animal feeding: hens, turkeys and porks. Feeded with bran and old tortillas – a banquet to palate – his fat animals used to gain weight very fast, by conviction, joy and enviromental harmony. The prize of their circularity was a kind of religious ritual for Gods: to be sacrified and sold.

I dare to say that my spherical grandpa was the model that Fernando Botero imagined, painted and sculpted. How happy would be this colombian artist knowing that his model lived in yucatecan land – specifically Oxkutzcab, the place of ramon tree, tobbaco and honey to the mayans –  and that in the night, after a very long journey working, he stood like a living statue smoking a cigarrete and fondling the belly of the incarnated Boterism.

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