Fernando Botero is famous for his depictions of blimpy figures that verge on the ludicrous. His “fat subject” sculptures and paintings, often humorous, are sold for millions.
Yet he has not shied away from tackling any number of controversial themes, such as criticizing the church and human rights abuses committed by the American government.
The extraordinary artist was born on April 19, 1931 in Medellin, Colombia.
He started early earning his own money: At the age of twelve, still attending secondary school, he started to paint and to finance his living by doing illustrations and design-work. Because the boy was gifted, He sold some artwork and took part in his first exhibition at his birthplace Medellin when he was 16.
He already found his typical style at the end of the 1950th. His pictures as well as his figures are characterized by his typical language of shapes. His art works remind of the voluminous style of Rubens.
A special characteristic of Botero`s artwork includes the illustration of normally skinny people, like dancers or toreros, as chubby individuals.
He mentions himself as the most Colombian painter of all Colombian painters. His huge, chubby and flatulently figures are symbols as well as caricatures of the Columbian Colonial-Bourgeoisie.
Nowadays he is living and working in France and Italy. In 2007, the sculptor exhibited some of his famous huge statues in public in front of the Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor).
In 2008 the life of the artist, documented by the German producer Peter Schamoni, was shown on July 28 at the International Movie Festival Munich in presence of himself. The movie was named “Botero - Born in Medellin”.
He is married in second marriage. He had three children with his first wife Gloria Zea and another son with his next girlfriend Cecilia Zambran, but the son of them died tragically in a car accident; Botero got injured too.
In 2000, Botero donated to a museum in Bogota 123 pieces of his work and 85 pieces from his personal collection, including works by Chagall, Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, and the French impressionists.
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 Elysées in Paris.