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Fernando Botero’s The Sphinx

As you may have heard, we are fans of the renowned Colombian artist, Fernando Botero. His voluptuous and majestic sculptures welcome you at three of our hotels. The smallest by far is our friendly pooch in the lobby of Charlotte Street Hotel. Remember, ‘it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog’!

Charlotte Street Hotel’s Botero dog emboldened us to make the lobby at The Soho Hotel the home for another sculpture by Botero, and this was to be a ten foot tall cat.

Monumentous in size, the bronze cat was actually craned into position before the walls of the hotel were built around it! If you haven’t set eyes on her in real life, you can watch Kit and Willow explore the sculpture in this instalment of The Firmdale Art Collection.


New York is not a city to be forgotten and definitely needed a Botero too. Standing proudly outside Crosby Street Hotel’s entrance is ‘Crosby the Cat’. It’s our gift to the city.

Now ‘Crosby the Cat’ has gained a new friend! Not too far from Crosby Street Hotel is Botero’s Sphinx sculpture in the Meatpacking District’s 14th Street Square.

With her human head, lion’s body and falcon wings, Botero has given this iconic Sphinx his own trademark zaftig style known as ‘Boterismo’. The sphinx are believed to have been seen as a spiritual guardian in ancient Egypt. They are usually depicted as male figures, but this one is distinctly female and certainly has girl power. We love it!

Botero is a true master, with a body of work that spans over 70 years. It is fascinating that he attended school for matadors, before realising his true passion was art. He lived in Spain and France before settling in Florence. We admire how his sculptures have given life to major cities all around the world. His works become ingrained in our memories whilst giving us a sense of place.

This Sphinx is well cultured and has enlivened the cities of Berlin, Medellín (where Botero was born), The Hague and now New York City. As it is only on display for a limited time, you can pop over to the Museum of Modern art to see more work in permanent residence, or visit us at Crosby Street Hotel.

Along with the 8-foot high sculpture, an exhibition is on display at David Benrimon Fine Art until April 19th to mark Botero’s 90th Birthday. Happy Birthday Botero!

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