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Artist Spotlight : Fernando Botero

Updated: Jun 2

Fernando Botero must number among the most famous painters alive, he is 88 years old in 2020 and is the most highly acclaimed South American artist at work today.

Source: Fernando Botero in Monaco, Getty Images


When you stand in front of a Botero painting or a sculpture, you would instantly recognize the exaggerated proportion of a figure and the smooth curvaceous of the outline. The composition are simple, colors are gentle, humbled with human empathy and love for self. It is simply refreshing enjoyment to indulge in.


However, to some who are less enthusiast of his style or considered it a mainstream populist artist, therefore may not considered it very cool to like a Botero, it is pretty subjective we would say.


Success was not easy for Botero, no fancy studios and not even sufficient funds to source for materials for his sculptures. In the documentary, Botero : The Search Never Ends released in 2018, it follows the life story of Botero, son of a seamstress and a salesman and how he started painting in water color, later worked at one of the most famous local newspaper and discovered his deep love for the Italian Renaissance arts.

Nude on the Beach, Fernando Botero


Hailed from Medellin, Colombia, (yes, it is the same birthplace of Pablo Escobar the notorious drug lord) Some of Botero's work also captures human suffering, violence, death and pain, which was represented in his 2007 Abu Ghraib's series of Iraqi prisoners being tortured inhumanly by American security personnel.

Abu Ghraib, 2007, Fernando Botero


Uniquely recognizable at art fairs and galleries, Botero explains that he focuses on the volume, rather than calling it fat. "An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it."

The Raval Cat, Madrid, Spain


His sculptures are world renown and can be seen in some the most iconic cities in the world, from his home country Colombia to Paris, Madrid to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.


Sources: WikiArt/ Artsy / Widewalls / Getty Images

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