Fernando Botero was born in 1932 in Medellín, Colombia, he is a figurative artist and sculptor. When he was twelve Botero's uncle sent him to a school for matadors for two years. In 1948, Botero at age 16 had his first illustrations published in the Sunday supplement of the El Colombiano, one of the most important newspapers in Medellín. He used the money he was paid to attend high school at the Liceo de Marinilla de Antioquia. From 1949 to 1950, Botero worked as a set designer, before moving to Bogotá in 1951. His first one-man show was held at the Galería Leo Matiz in Bogotá, a few months after his arrival. In 1952, Botero travelled with a group of artists to Barcelona, where he stayed briefly before moving on to Madrid. In Madrid, Botero studied at the Academia de San Fernando. In 1953, Botero moved to Paris, where he spent most of his time in the Louvre, studying the works there. He lived in Florence, Italy from 1953 to 1954, studying the works of Renaissance masters. In 1960, the artist moved to New York where he experimented with the gestural brushstrokes of the New York School painters of the time. This stylistic dalliance was short lived and by the 1970s Botero had settled into the technique for which he is now known.
His signature style, also known as, depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume, which can represent political criticism or humor, depending on the piece. The rounded appearance of Botero’s painted figures is mirrored in his sculptural work, usually fabricated in bronze at a large scale and often displayed in public. He is considered the most recognized and quoted living artist from Latin America, 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 currently lives and works between Paris, France, New York, NY, and Tuscany, Italy. His works are presently held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museo Botero in Bogotá which is dedicated to the artist and his oeuvre.
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