Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Botero, Fernando

A Family
oil on canvas
155 x 195 cm
location unknown
-Fair use-

“In art, as long as you have ideas and think, you are bound to deform nature. Art is deformation.” (Fernando Botero)

Fernando Botero Angulo (1932-), born in Medelin, in the department of Antioquia, Colombia, is an artist known for his robust, inflated forms and exaggerated human figures.

His father was a traveling salesman who would travel throughout the rugged, mountainous region by donkey. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack when Fernando was only 2. It is said that this tragic event left him with a permanent emptiness, a sadness he could never fully put a face to. He attended a school run by Jesuits who were very strict, and, to add enjoyment to his life, he began to draw and later paint. He attended a matador school, too, for several years in his youth.

His 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. His 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 Velazquez.

Throughout the 1950s, he experimented with proportion and size, and began developing his trademark style - round, bloated humans and animals - after he moved to New York City in 1960. After reaching an international audience with his art, in 1973, he 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. He lives in both Paris, France, and coastal Italy.