Colombia's Botero takes nostalgic journey with circus-themed work

New York, Oct 17 (EFE).- Colombian artist Fernando Botero has taken a nostalgic look back at his childhood with a new work titled "Circus: Paintings and Work on Paper."

The 81-year-old painter and sculptor said Wednesday he was inspired by his visit to a circus six years ago in a small town on Mexico's Pacific coast, and during the book launch seemed to still have the images of that show fresh in his mind.

"It was like reliving my childhood," the artist said of the experience at a press conference.

"It was a humble, poor circus that also reminded me of those I saw in Medellin, my home city when I was a boy. Maybe that's why I liked it so much, apart from the artistic and poetic possibilities," he said at the Colombian Consulate in New York, where several of the paintings included in the work are being exhibited.

Botero, who worked two years on the paintings and drawings, said the world he encountered that evening - the covered wagons, contortionists and animals - had made a big impression on him.

"I hadn't paid attention to circuses since I was a boy and suddenly I discovered the beauty of the circus," Botero said at the presentation of the 58-page book, which includes 134 paintings and 57 drawings featuring the voluminous figures and use of light and vivid colors that are his trademark.

The artist, however, said he had no plans to convert those images into sculptures.