The Cuban-born, Cleveland-based artist Augusto Bordelois is showing some striking works at Cleveland State U. The exhibition, titled “Based on a True Story,” is filled with large-format paintings full of bold colors and simple shapes that burst their frames and overflow the shallow space, as in the accompanying photo.
The designs are strong although simple; shapes and devices are repeated throughout. The figurative paintings are filled with symbolism that never strays from the benign, humorous, and superficial.
When I walked into the gallery, I was immediately reminded of another artist whom I first encountered in New York in the 80’s. His posters were widely seen in the Village and other tourist haunts. I couldn’t for the life of me remember the artist’s name. Once again Google came to the rescue. Searching for ‘comic figure painters’ produced Botero.
The Colombian-born Botero fills his large canvases to the bursting with simple, repeated shapes that are unfailingly humorous. I suspect his fellow Latin American had a deep influence on Bordelois.