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Fernando Botero: 1932—: Artist Biography

Trained As Bullfighter, Developed Signature Style, Botero And The Medellín Cartel, Donated Paintings To Colombia

Fernando Botero: 1932—: Artist.

Considered one of the leading figures in contemporary Latin American art, Fernando Botero has become best known for robust figures whose immense size dominate the canvas. Botero has drawn upon Colombian folklore and history, especially that of his native Antioquia, for inspiration. In the 1990s, Botero paintings began commanding figures as high as $1 million at auction, and the artist found himself playing the role of a new standard-bearer for Colombian culture, though he had not lived in his violence-plagued homeland for many years. Colombian schoolchildren have come to know him as the painter of gorditas, or "fat ladies." A fellow South American, novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, commented on Botero's place in Latin American imagery in a monograph in the Great Modern Masters series, Botero. "You don't need to have actually visited the Colombia towns of Antioquia in the 1940s to be able to identify the social reality against which Botero's imagery is set," Vargas Llosa asserted. "Any Latin American will recognize in this carousel of images certain manners of feeling, dreaming, and acting that are typical of the cities and towns of the interior of any country on our continent."

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