By Bianca Jean-Philippe
Every morning, my eyes are fixed to the foggy windows of the 95 Express to Downtown Miami. Around 6:40 A.M., the bus will curve around the corner of south east first street and onto Biscayne Boulevard. The sky will be a somber pastel blue. It will seemingly tinge all of its audience this same calming hue. Everything will carry a trace of this sober blue--the license tag of every speeding luxury car, the glass panels of every intimidating skyscraper, and the sweaty neck of every superficial jogger huffing down the strip.
But along the grassy fields of Bayfront Park, in a part of town where the stereotypes of Miami tend to meet, there is one example of honest humanness to be seen. Ironically enough, it is captured by fifteen sable sculptures brought to the area by the Nader Latin American Art Museum. Depicting a voluptuous man and woman in several of the poses, the statues created by the world-renowned Colombian artist, Fernando Botero, embody confidence and channel character.
To start, the infinitely happy expressions on the couple’s round faces belie the low self-esteem issues expected of people with less popular body types. Likewise, the exhibit challenges other social stigmas: One figure is a display of the male body only from the neck to the thighs; and its muscles and gait are augmented while its genitals are notably miniscule in comparison. I interpret the sizing of the figure’s features as a declaration that humans have greater self-worth, potential and impact than what is determined by the size of their genitalia.
All in all, the statues of the Botero Exhibit stand like sentries over the bustle of Miami’s denizens and act as tethers to truths we all--as people susceptible to being hurt by societal opinions-- should carry with us. If in need of reminding, stroll on down to Bayfront Park, while the Botero exhibit still stands. You won’t regret it.