January 25, 2011

Fernando Botero - Colombian Artists

If you dont know Botero´s corpulent figures and work yet, you should!
With this post, I will try to show you a little bit of this artist´s impacting work.
His work is shown in 46 museums throughtout the world.

Mona Lisa (1963)

Fernando Botero Angulo (born April 19, 1932) is a Colombian figurative artist, self-titled "the most Colombian of Colombian artists" early on. He came to national prominence when he won the first prize at the Salón de Artistas Colombianos in 1958. Working most of the year in Paris, in the last three decades he has achieved international recognition for his paintings, drawings and sculpture, with exhibitions across the world.

In 1948, at the age of 16, Botero published his first illustrations in the Sunday supplement of the El Colombiano daily paper. 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 1952, he traveled to Bogotá, where he had a solo exhibit at the Leo Matiz gallery. Later that year, he won the ninth edition of the Salón de Artistas Colombianos. He has had more than 50 exhibits in major cities worldwide, and his work commands selling prices in the millions of dollars.
Una familia

Mano Grande (1981)


Botero is an abstract artist in the most fundamental sense, choosing colors, shapes, and proportions based on intuitive aesthetic thinking.While his work includes still-lifes and landscapes, Botero has concentrated on situational portraiture. His paintings and sculptures are united by their proportionally exaggerated, or "fat" figures, as he once referred to them.

"I create my subjects somehow visualizing them in my style. I start as a poet, put the colors and composition down on canvas as a painter, but finish my work as a sculptor taking delight in caressing the forms." -- Fernando Botero

So, why large figures?

Botero explains his use of these "large people", as they are often called by critics, in the following way: "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."

In a series of paintings and drawings, artist Fernando Botero reflects
on the 2004 prisoner abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Abu Ghraib´s Series
When we think about the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, most of us visualize his roly-poly people flaunting their fat, their fashionable headgear, their cigarettes and cigarette holders, their excess. I never thought of these as political images until I saw Botero's Abu Ghraib series in which hooded men dangle, upside down, and hideous dogs claw and growl at manacled prisoners arranged into pyramids and bleeding on each other.
Check out a conversation between Fernando Botero and Robert Hass, Professor of English and Poet, UC Berkeley:

This is an one hour conversation in Berkeley with Botero and Robert. You will enjoy to listen to them talking about art !! This is a must listen!

                                                                 Colombiana (1991)

I Musicisti
Museo Botero in Bogotá

It has also been said that the pictorial language of Botero evokes the musical language of Mozart. This is especially evident in his paintings of musicians. It is a subject that, along with gay scenes of couples dancing, the artist returned to often. Indeed, these pictures, full of life and movement, provide an ideal opportunity for Botero to create dynamic compositions in which his characters play, dance, and sing, usually within a defined environment that gives context and frames their activity.

Paintings and drawings of guitar players, flutists, violinists, singers are scattered throughout the artist's oeuvre. One also finds still lives of musical instruments: a guitar placed on a table, with the musical sheet peeking below; or a cello in a corner, waiting to be played. In these paintings the instrument becomes the primary subject for the artist. Botero recognizes that the beauty of music is due as much to the instrument as it is to the musician. In fact, as the artist himself has said, "If I went to a remote place, in a short time I would get used to the silence and, most probably, would stop painting."

A cat on a Roof (1978)

Fernando Botero portrayed Pablo Escobar's death in one
of his paintings about violence in Colombia

A parody with Botero´s Colombian Family (1999) including Quentin Tarantino

Check the Museum Syndicate for his paintings (LINK) 
Google Images of Fernando Botero (LINK)


  1. Great information!!! Love it! And love your blog!!!

  2. Thank you very much! I am really glad you like my blog! Please, keep visiting.
    Marcela Lanna

  3. je suis très content de découvrir cet artiste. BRAVO

  4. ¡ que placer ver una colección del arte de este artista fenomenal! Gracias, Botero.

  5. I just found your Blog and I love it...especially the post on Botero, I love his work. It's so humourous.
    New Follower.

  6. What a great gift . . .
    Thanks for putting together such a remarkable collection.

  7. Who owns the "Study of Mona Lisa" by Botero?

    1. This paint is part of the Botero donation in a museum in Bogota Colombia

  8. Amazing the creations that can be produced by such talented minds. To think it started with just a vision and continued with the imagination and love...


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