Paul Botello’s “Body And Soul”

Body & Soul- The two words I’ve been thinking a lot about for the past several years. The tangible and intangible; both are of the utmost importance to all of us whether we like it or not. As a spiritual person, I want to believe in the immortal soul but maybe all we have is this time on Earth. The “Earth” is a leitmotif throughout this series. The earth composed of bodies, bent and twisted into configuration to create a sphere. Bodies that reach toward each other with compassion, empathy and above all Love and Hope.

These works were created before and during the pandemic that ravaged the world. Some works are reactionary. I needed to do something so I have works that are community oriented; Socially relevant narratives that deal with what has transpired in my/our world. I also have works that are “escaping” what has transpired, works of harmony and grace that are hopefully poetic. Art that is aesthetically “beautiful.” Bodies in motion and at rest. Sensual and spiritual, they can be the same. 

My works are symbolic narratives that examine both public and personal themes, from pertinent social issues to more intimate matters. My methodology combines the dynamic interfacing of expressive lines creating a configuration or pattern unifying the surface, realizing and fusing together form, feeling and content. The juxtaposition of the abstract and the realistic, the balance of refine/subtle and raw/bold brushwork are utilized to express different feelings. Energy, color and composition are integral components of my work and together they evoke a sense of the spirit, the vital animating force within my being and my art. - Paul Botello


His works on canvas and paper have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout California and the world. He’s executed 35 murals within the last 35 years, over 15 of those murals with his students. His murals have been featured in movies, history books, articles and a repeated segment of KCET’s “Sesame Street”. The segment is a demonstration of the mechanics and execution of a mural. His works have also been published in various books, magazines and newspapers.

In his continuous efforts to give back to the community, he has  taught high school art for the Los Angeles Unified School District from 1989-present day. He also taught at a college level; Cal State University Los Angeles (painting) and at the Claremont colleges; at Pitzer College, he taught mural painting (1997 and 2006), and at Pomona College, Chicano art history (1998-2006). He’s constantly recruiting aspiring young artists to assist with his murals. He hopes this will instill pride, commitment and self- confidence among the young people that he works with.

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