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Born in Colombia in 1932, Fernando Botero left matador school to become an artist, displaying his work for the first time in a 1948. His subsequent art, now exhibited in major cities worldwide, concentrates on situational portraiture united by his subjects' proportional exaggeration.


Synopsis Early Years The Maturing Artist Recent Works

Early Years
Born in Medellin, Colombia, on April 19, 1932, Fernando Botero attended a matador school for several years in his youth, and then left the bull ring behind to pursue an artistic career. Botero's paintings were first exhibited in 1948, when he was 16 years old, and he had his first one-man show two years later in Bogota. Botero's work in these early years was inspired by pre-Colombian and Spanish colonial art and the political murals of Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Also influential were the works of his artistic idols at the time, Francisco de Goya and Diego Velzquez. By the early 1950s, Botero had begun studying painting in Madrid, where he made his living copying paintings hanging in the Prado and selling the copies to tourists.

The Maturing Artist

Throughout the 1950s, Botero experimented with proportion and size, and he began developing his trademark styleround, bloated humans and animalsafter he moved to New York City in 1960. The inflated proportions of his figures, including those in Presidential Family (1967), suggest an element of political satire, and are depicted using flat, bright color and prominently outlined formsa nod to Latin-American folk art. And while his work includes still-lifes and landscapes, Botero has typically concentrated on his emblematic situational portraiture. After reaching an international audience with his art, in 1973, Botero moved to Paris, where he began creating sculptures. These works extended the foundational themes of his painting, as he again focused on his bloated subjects. As his sculpture developed, by the 1990s, outdoor exhibitions of huge bronze figures were staged around the world to great success.

Recent Works
In 2004, Botero turned to the overtly political, exhibiting a series of drawings and paintings focusing on the violence in Colombia stemming from drug cartel activities. In 2005, he unveiled his "Abu Ghraib" series, based on reports of American military forces abusing prisoners at the

Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq War. The series took him more than 14 months to complete, and received considerable attention when it was first exhibited in Europe. Fernando Botero lives with his second wife, Greek artist Sophia Vari, in both Paris, France, and coastal Italy. He continues to exhibit his works around the world. Fernando Botero, (born April 19, 1932, Medelln, Colombia), Colombian artist known for his paintings and sculptures of inflated human and animal shapes. As a youth, Botero attended a school for matadors for several years, but his true interest was in art. While still a teenager, he began painting and was inspired by the pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial art that surrounded him as well as by the political work of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. His own paintings were first exhibited in 1948, and two years later, in Bogot, he had his first one-man show. While studying painting in Madrid in the early 1950s, he made his living by copying paintings housed in the Prado Museumparticularly those of his idols at the time, Francisco de Goya and Diego Velzquezand selling them to tourists. He spent much of the rest of the decade studying the art treasures of Paris and Florence. Throughout the 1950s Botero began experimenting with proportion and size. When he moved to New York City in 1960, he had developed his trademark style: the depiction of round, corpulent humans and animals. In these works he referenced Latin-American folk art in his use of flat, bright colour and boldly outlined forms. He favoured a smooth look in his paintings, eliminating the appearance of brushwork and texture, as in Presidential Family (1967). In works such as this, he also drew from the Old Masters he had emulated in his youth: his formal portraits of the bourgeoisie and political and religious dignitaries clearly reference the composition and meditative quality of formal portraits by Goya and Velzquez. The inflated proportions of his figures, such as those in Presidential Family, also suggest an element of political satire, perhaps hinting at the subjects inflated sense of their own importance. His other paintings from the period include bordello scenes and nudes, which possess comic qualities that challenge and satirize sexual mores, and portraits of families, which possess a gentle, affectionate quality. In 1973 Botero returned to Paris and began creating sculptures in addition to his works on canvas. These works extended the concerns of his painting, as he again focused on rotund subjects. Successful outdoor exhibitions of his monumental bronze figures, including Roman Soldier (1985), Maternity (1989), and The Left Hand (1992), were staged around the world in the 1990s. He also continued to paint, creating bullfight scenes throughout the 1980s.
When he started to experience his own surrealist vision of the world, he was severely criticized by many but started to receive excellent reviews in New York. In 1961, the Museum of Art in New York added to its gallery the famous Mona Lisa at the Age of Twelve, a painting where, while respecting the original image, he gives the Mona Lisa his characteristic perception of volume and perspective

Mona Lisa by Fernando Botero

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Yes, this is a rendition of Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa. No, this is not some cute digital artwork made by some enthusiast! This, in fact, is Mona Lisa by Fernando Botero (b. 1932) painted in 1977. This Colombian artist is famous for his fat figures a style that he developed as he began experimenting with size and proportions in the 1950s. Botero began his career by copying famous paintings (and selling them to support himself) housed at the Prado Museum, and subsequently went on to study art at Paris and Florence. Now, how did he move towards this particular painting style? Here is a statement by Botero that provides a possible insight: 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 fact is that he is an abstract artist, not a figurative artist. Interesting? His style is unique, recognizable from a mile away and has its roots in satire. Take for example the painting titled Presidential Family (1967). The inflated figures are possibly a depiction of the figures inflated egos and sense of self-importance. Botero moved from painting masterpieces to depicting Colombian life in general, ranging from the drug lords and pudgy priests, from the mafia to even nudes. In painting Mona Lisa, Botero has created an image that is so very far removed from the delicate and enigmatic Mona Lisa housed at The Louvre, that this image almost feels like it is a parody. As Latin American art gains ground in the global art market, it is impossible to ignore this illustrious artist with the unique style! And to think, he actually started out wanting to make a career for himself as a matador. This article galleryIntell 2013. All artwork Fernando Botero. 1111111

Fernando Botero

The Art World Legend

--Fernando Botero is one of the most successful contemporary artists right now, his pai millions. The ageing Botero is returning to his troubled homeland, Colombia, where he city as the drug lord, Pablo Escobar, the subject of one of Botero's most controversial pa

--The artist has been target of kidnap attempts and must now be accompanied everywh -As Fernando Botero touches down, a huge storm is blowing up over his son, a charisma the "Kennedy of South America", Botero senior is mortified by his son's self-destruction the reception he himself will receive from his long-suffering countrymen.

--Despite millions in the bank, private jets at his beck and call, and homes in Monte Car Manhattan, among others, the Great Master yearns to be accepted into the pantheon of --Is that why he has produced his boldest work in decades, paintings that explore the ho jail in Iraq ...?

--The scandal over abuse at Abu Ghraib surfaced when pictures of guards humiliating n became public tarnishing the military's image in Arab countries and worldwide, and spa investigations into detainee abuses.

--Botero said his paintings are inspired more by written descriptions of the abuse than b --Botero said his intent is to emblazon the images upon the consciousness of the world. --"No one would have ever remembered the horrors of Guernica if not for the painting", to Pablo Picasso's masterpiece "Guernica" which depicts the aerial bombardment of civi

Civil War. --This is not the first time that Botero has depicted Violence. --A few years ago, he began painting scenes of bloodshed in Colombia.

--Fernando Botero's self-identification as a man and artist from and of Colombia, is the outstanding characteristic of his Art. --In fact, one could cite works in virtually any genre and analyse them according to the s elements present in them. --We have seen already how in his religious compositions, such as "Our Lady of Colomb national identity.

--It is, however, the timeless and endlessly repetitive life of the small towns of the interi provide immeasurable fascination for Botero.

--Although he grew up in Medellin, he and his family would spend parts of the summers distance from the city. This place, El Escorial, remains today fairly similar to its aspect o

--- In many of his paintings, Fernando Botero recalls both the mundane and the extraor such a town. --In a painting such as the 1995 House, a woman stands in her doorway, observing the p Nothing seems to change, but we know that any instant something amazing - wonderfu happen. --In a 1994 compositions we observe just such an occurrence.

--The Woman Falling from a Balcony, portrays a young woman, dressed only in a green

heeled shoes, flying through the air as she is observed by a man standing bellow. --Does this represent a terrible accident, a suicide or a vision of the observer? --We can only know the ultimate outcome in our imaginations.

--In paintings such as this, Botero seems to be creating visual analogues to the extraord Gabriel Garca Mrquez, who, in his novels and short stories has created a world that m both banal and wondrous. --The imagination of the painter, like that of the writer, conjures up fantastical happeni in which, seemingly, little or nothing changes throughout the years.

--The Art of Botero is widely known, revered, paraphrased, imitated... and copied. For m rounded, sensuous forms of the human figure, animal, still lifes and landscapes, repres identifiable examples of the modern Art of Latin America.

--For others, he is a cultural hero. --To travel with Botero in his native Colombia, is to come to realize that he is often seen more as a popular cult figure.

--In his native Medellin he is mobbed by people wanting to see him, touch him or have h whatever substance they happen to be carrying.

--On the other hand, Botero's work has been discredited by those theorists of modern A dictated more by intellectual fashion than by the perception of the power of his images.

--Botero is undoubtedly one of the most successful artists in both commercial and popu artist whose paintings deal with many of the issues that have been at the heart of the La process in the twentieth century.

--An indispensable figure on many international Art and social scenes on at least three c 'persona' might be compared to that of one of the seventeenth century artists he so muc Rubens.

--Rubens represents the epitome of the standard notions of the "Baroque". His own fles exist in a world of exuberance and plenitude in both the realms of the sacred and the pr --Like Rubens, Botero is an individual whose intense engagement with the world aroun perceptions, heightens his discernment of both the material and spiritual nature of spec people. --Also in the manner of Rubens, Botero celebrates the palpable, quantifiable tangibility without slighting more ethereal values.

--Rubens was a diplomat by both profession and character. Polished in manner and elo moved easily within many realms of Baroque society in his native Flanders as well as in and Spain.

--Botero is similarly peripatetic and likewise gifted in his comprehension of the wide va and emotions. --He is, in both his personality and his Art, as comfortable with bullfighters as with pres with socialites. --His images of this range of types presents his audiences with a panoramic view of the of modern society on both sides of the Atlantic, above as well as bellow the Equator.

--Fernando Botero, born April 19, 1932 in Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia, South Americ prominence when he won the first prize at the Saln de Artistas in 1958.

--- The Salon of Colombian Artists (Saln de Artistas Colombianos) is a cultural event w This event is celebrated every year between August 5 and September 12 with two main c event and a set of regional contests.-

--Throughout his childhood, Botero was isolated from traditional Art presented in muse cultural institutes.

--He lost his father at the age of fourteen. --At the age of twelve Fernando Botero received training as a matador along side his usu Botero's first major subject in his early paintings was the ring. --In 1948, the artist had his first exhibition with other painters from his home province Medellin.

--In 1951 Botero moved to Bogot, where he met the Colombian Avant-garde surroundi "Automtica". --His first solo exhibition at the Leo Matiz gallery followed after only five months. --In 1952, Botero travelled with a group of artists to Barcelona, where he stayed only bri Madrid. --In Madrid, the artist studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, lo in the heart of Madrid.

--After his studies at the Academia de San Fernando and the Prado museum, Fernando where he studied Art History. --For a long time he studied the technique of fresco painting and copied works of Giotto Castagno. --Two years later, Botero returned to Bogot. --An exhibition of the artist's works from Italy flopped.

--In 1956, he married Gloria Zea and moved to Mexico with her, where he found his own influence of the Mexican mural painter, Diego Rivera. --- Diego Rivera was a world-famous Mexican painter, and husband of Frida Kahlo. Riv in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Renaissance.

--Botero was appointed professor for painting at the Bogot Art Academy and gradually important young artist in Colombia. --- In 1960 Botero moved to New York and won the Guggenheim National Prize for Colo year he split up with his wife.

--In 1965, Botero's fully developed plastic style of painting first became visible in his pa Family". --In 1966 the painter travelled to his first important European exhibition at the "Staat L Baden-Baden", followed by his first exhibition at a US Museum at the Milwaukee Art Ce which lead to his breakthrough in America.

--Fernando Botero spent the following years in Colombia, New York and Europe. --Since the birth of his son Pedro, from his second marriage in 1970, the artist captured life in his Art. --After the four-year-old died in a car accident, Botero often returned to the motif. --In 1973 Botero moves to Paris, where he produced his first sculptures. He only worked some time until he returned to painting in 1978. --Five years later, Fernando Botero moves to Tuscany, where he only painted bullfightin years. --These painting a were shown at the Marlborough Gallery in New York in 1985. --Today Botero's works are exhibited in numerous international museums and exhibitio

--Fernando Botero lives and works in New York and Paris through international exhibit most famous streets of the world's largest cities, his paintings, drawings and monument become so well known that they often complex meanings, in many cases have become a

--While Botero's Art is tangibly present as an indispensable part of popular visual cultur imagination, its deeper references and the processes of its creation have become camou highly visible public profile by both its commercial appropriation.

--The Art of Botero must be read on a variety of planes. The levels of meaning unfold wh

the lens of both his historical development and the intentions of the messages that his p and sculptures convey.

--Botero got started on his first painting the day after arriving in New York, and never le studio in the heart of Greenwich Village, and intended to sell his paintings himself. --Then a dealer came along who was interested in his drawings and offered to buy up a dollars a piece. --Slowly, Botero began making his first earnings. --Notwithstanding the lack of interest in his work shown by most of the New York galler --Botero staunchly refused to passively submit to the edicts of american Art, an Art rule Expressionism. He was determined to remain faithfull to his South American inspiratio quest and artistic conceptions. --"After being colonized for centuries, Latin American artists are particularly sensitive t their personal authenticity" he declared in one interview. "I want my painting to have ro give meaning, truth to what one creates".

--Actually, his first shows were torn to pieces by the american critics. He was deeply wo of their criticism, by their brutality, their unconditional rejection of his painting, qualifi Baroque rubish.

--These then were difficult times for Botero, marked by self-doubt and uncertainty. --During this period, he also got caught up in family problems. In any case, he became s wife, Gloria Zea, whom he had married in 1955 and who had borne him three children.

--A modest, even secretive man, Botero is loathe to discuss his private life with biograph --One thing we do know is that many years later, after he remarried the artist Sophia Va

to confront the deepest of pains. --The death of his four-year-old son, Pedro, killed at his side in a car accident along the

--Battling the hostile climate of New York, he refused to give up. He continued to fight, furiously and accumulating a stock of finished works. --In the meantime, he transferred his studio to a Lower East Side apartment, unbearabl --Here emerged a series of smooth-skinned, giant creations, their bodies in full bloom b breathing serenity and self-assurance ... strange musicians right out of a circus parade, ... --Here also were created the still lifes in their bright, warm colours, beautifully compose

familiar objects, things that are good to eat - for there is a noteworthy gustatory sensual lots of fruits, oranges and especially bananas, the authentic fruits of the tropics, as Bote commented, "never apples, apples are for snobs".

--There followed long years of hard work, years during which his ideas were constantly when he sought to personalize various influences, to absorb sundry technical experience directions. --But he never failed to steer a steady course, following the direction dictated by what, h inner universe in the process of blooming. --A small group of collectors, american art lovers, began following him. The same thing abroad, in France, England, and, most especially, in Germany, where his poetic and my formalism, attracted a growing number of followers. --Botero learned to refine his palette, to seek greater simplicity and mastery intellectual --From 1963 he began eliminating all traces of texture on the canvas in favour of paintin smooth.

--He also perfected his aesthetic concept of a painting as something always born of the i hundreds of sources. --Within two years he had attained perfect mastery of his Art, knew exactly what he wan

--The New York galleries finally became interested in his work. At the same time - "The First Lady", for instance - landed in New York's Museum of Modern Art, and retrospect put on by various German museums.

--Henceforth, he would be able to make an honourable living of his passion, bringing hi material satisfaction. --The first solo show of his works put on by New York's Marlborough Gallery, was some

--Botero would remain in New York for thirteen years, travelling frequently to Colombia at the heart of painting, with stopovers in his beloved Italy, in France and Germany. --He translated Manet's "Djeuner sur l'herbe", in his own manner, and fell in love with led him to create a series of charcoals - The Drerboteros - inspired by the Nuremburg M fashion of Picasso, upon various occasions he destructured and restructured --"Las Meninas" ( Velzquez).

--He thus penetrated from within, the work of a painter he admired, inspiring a long ser --"Marguerite", based on Velzquez portraits of the little Infanta Margareta Teresa and and dwarfs. --An act of appropriation that was also an act of love.