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  • Thom Reaves

Artists Born This Month: Fernando Botero


Fernando Botero Angulo is a living artist from Medellin, Colombia. He was born on April 19th, 1932. Both a figurative painter and a sculptor, Botero is known for his “fat” figures, as he once referred to them, in a style called “Boterismo”. His work can be seen in highly visible places around the world, including Park Ave in New York City and Champs-Elysees in Paris, France. He is considered the most recognizable living artist in Latin America and his works sell in the range of millions of dollars.

Botero’s works many times represent humor, yet sometimes he explores political themes. In 2004 he exhibited a series of 23 paintings and 27 drawings dealing with the violence perpetrated by Columbian drug cartels, which he subsequently donated to the National Museum of Columbia.

In 2005 he turned his view to the United States when he created his Abu Ghraib series, a series of 85 paintings and 100 drawings, produced over a period of 14 months, based on the abuses of American forces on the prisoners of Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq war. They were first exhibited in Europe, then in the United States. As with his Columbian cartel series, he donated these works to various museums.

Botero’s works periodically return to still lifes and landscapes, but also to themes of family and maternity.

Botero resides in Paris, France with his wife, Sophia Vari. They also have a house in Pietrasanta, Italy, where an exhibition was held to commemorate his works for his 80th birthday.

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Copyright 2016 Thom Reaves

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