IRREALLY DILATED SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS – Fernando Botero: An incisive style that is influenced by abstract expressionism

Do not paint anything different from the world you knew in Medellín

His colors are soft, never enhanced, often evenly applied and without contours. As a child, he undergoes the charm of the illustrations of the Divine Comedy by Gustave Doré. Fernando Botero was born in Medellín on a day in April 1932, establishing himself as a Colombian painter, sculptor and drafter. At 16, he was drawing illustrations for the most important newspaper in his hometown. In 1948, he exhibited for the first time in Medellín. In 1952 he won, a prize reserved for Colombian artists, using the money for a trip to Spain and Paris. Arriving in Italy, he met the works of the Italian Renaissance, which inspired him particularly.

The absence of shading in his paintings is a choice he justified in order not to alter the idea of the color he wishes to convey. Returning to his homeland, Fernando Botero married Gloria Zea, began to exhibit his works, but received strong criticism, deciding to move to Mexico, where he began to expand the volume of the forms he painted. In 1957, he discovered abstract expressionism, thanks to a tour of New York museums. Back home, he won a prize at the Colombian artists’ show, also obtaining the chair of painting at the Bogotá art academy. He exhibited in Washington, where his works are sold all the same day of the inauguration.

According to him, painting must be understood as an inner necessity that leads to an uninterrupted exploration towards the ideal framework. Fernando Botero is disputed and leaves Colombia in precarious economic conditions. In 1961, the Museum of Modern Art in New York decided to buy his Mona Lisa at the age of twelve. Two years he rents a new studio on the East Side of New York, where his plastic style emerges, with works of soft and delicate colors. In 1969, he exhibited in Paris and continued to devote himself to sculpture. In 1983, he returned to Italy, opening a studio in Pietrasanta, near the marble quarries.

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