Amid the hustle and bustle of the City of London (London’s financial district) and seemingly hovering just above the ever busy Liverpool Street Station on the eastern side of Exchange Square, the serene (and enormous!) Broadgate Venus reclines in a pose of suspended animation, blissfully unfazed by the suit-and-tied commuter commotion and the hubbub of global financial happenings.
This massive five ton nude was erected in 1990 and is the work of Colombian artist, Fernando Botero. An especially representative example of the artist’s “big people” style of sculpture, his voluptuous bronze is reminiscent of works by Picasso and Reuben. Says the artist of his “fat” figures:
An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.
Born in 1932, Fernando Botero Angulo (self described as “the most Colombian of Colombian artists”) has received international recognition for his artwork – paintings, drawings and of course his sculptures – and his art can be seen throughout the world in a variety of museums, hotels, public spaces and private collections.
Broadgate Venus is but one of several pieces of public art on display in the square mile area known as the City of London, with works dating from the 1700s to the present day. War memorials, statues of famed kings and queens, large abstract works by the most notable of contemporary artists and lots more – there’s something on view around here for virtually all tastes and interests. Cast against a skyline of some of modern times’ most iconic skyscrapers as well as a number of history’s most revered buildings, the City’s public art add an extra element of wow to this already visually stunning part of London.
Botero’s Broadgate Venus is a particularly alluring piece of public art, worthy of a visit if you plan on booking a flight to London, setting a calming tone and bit of quirk to a part of town that’s generally known for being “all business.” Should you find yourself staying in this area or passing through to see some of the many nearby attractions, consider dropping in on this laid back lady to admire her beauty and grace.
The statue’s Exchange Square location is an ideal spot for lunch or meeting up with city workers and as most of the action around here is of the Monday to Friday variety, a visit on the weekend should mean you’ll have the spot all to yourself.