Fernando Botero Angulo is a Colombian figurative artist and sculptor, born in Medellín. His signature style, also known as “Boterismo”, depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume, which can represent political criticism or humor, depending on the piece. He is considered the most recognized and quoted living artist from Latin America. His art is collected by many significant international museums and groups, and his art can be found in highly visible places around the world, such as Park Avenue in New York City and the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Botero began drawing and painting watercolours as a young child. In 1944 an uncle, who had taken on an important role in family life following the death of his father, enrolled him in a training school for bullfighters. Botero’s first works — watercolours of bulls and matadors — were sold by a man who traded tickets to bullfights. In 1948, when he was just 16, he had his first illustrations published in one of the most important newspapers in Medellín. Three years later he had his first one-man show in Bogotá. By manipulating space and perspective, he draws attention to the monumentality of his figures, showing them in spaces that seem too small to contain them. He has remained adamant that he does not paint ‘fat people’; what he paints, he insists, is ‘volume’, and the ‘sensuality of form’. He has explored volume and sensuality of form in subjects as diverse as the circus, reinterpretations of Old Masters, nudes, Latin American street scenes, domestic life, bordellos, and portraits of political figures. Botero’s work is also often politically charged. Beginning in the 1990s, he painted a series focusing on Colombia’s drug-related violence. In 2005, Botero gained considerable attention for his Abu Ghraib series, which was exhibited first in Europe. He based the works on reports of United States forces’ abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq War. Along with the numerous Botero sculptures that can be seen in his native Medellín, monumental pieces by the artist can be enjoyed on the streets of New York, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Jerusalem, Bamberg in Germany and Yerevan in Armenia. A 2015 retrospective that started in Beijing and travelled to Shanghai is a testament to the truly international appeal of his work. He died on Semptember, 2023.
There are no exhibitions for Fernando Botero at the moment.
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