Monday, February 28, 2011


Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder but even so, to me one of the great art world mysteries is many people's fascination for the works of Ferdinand Botero, the Colombian-born artist who likes his women big, bigger and HUGE.

A classic example is the giant woman who reclines in the Plaza Santo Domingo in Cartagena, It is rare that she is not surrounded by admirers who touch, photograph and clamber over her.

Even the 78-year-old Botero admits he is not sure why he is drawn to oversized women. "An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why," he once acknowledged.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


  It seems as if potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has put his foot in his mouth yet again.
  This time Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas who continues to insist that President Obama grew up in Kenya, has set his sights on the Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman
  In a radio appearance on the Michael Medved Show  Huckabee attacked Portman for having a child "out of wedlock." Huckabee said that it's "troubling" to see people like "Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, 'Hey look, you know, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.'" Huckabee added that "it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock."
   Perhaps Huckabee, who hosts a talk show for Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel, doesn't realise that he is attacking one of his boss's favourite actresses. After all, Black Swan, which stars Portman in her Oscar-winning role, has so far grossed $105 million, making it Fox's highest-grossing 2010 release and, consequently, Rupert Murdoch's   favourite movie, too. Oops!
Photo: Theo Kingma

Friday, February 25, 2011


During my (admittedly long ago) days as a foreign correspondent my colleagues and I kept as low a profile as possible, preferring not to disclose our profession to possible hostile forces. How things have changed! In strife-torn Colombia I noticed that foreign correspondents not only wear special jackets announcing what they do, but also bearing details of their blood group in case a transfusion is needed.


  It's always a pleasure seeing Nicole Kidman, whom I first met 21 years ago on Batman Forever. A lot of water under the bridge si...