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Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero

*  1932 Medellín/Kolumbien

Fernando Botero, the son of a Colombian travelling salesman was trained as a matador from the age of twelve beside his college education. The bullfighting ring was one of the first large subjects in his early drawings. In 1948 he exhibited for the first time in Medellín together with other artists from his home province Antioquía. In 1951 Botero moved to Bogotá, where he met with the Columbian avant-garde in the circle of the café ‚Automatica'. Already after five months he had his first one-man show at Leo Matiz' gallery. After studying in Madrid at the Academia San Fernando and the Prado-Museum Botero went to Italy where he began studying art history in Florence in 1953. He studied the technique of fresco painting for a long time and copied Giotto and Anrea del Castagno. He returned to Bogotá two years later, where an exhibition of his works from the time in Italy was a failure. In 1956 he married Gloria Zea and moved to Mexico, where he found his own style influenced by Diego Rivera's Mexican mural painting. Botero was appointed professor for painting at the art academy of Bogotá and established himself as the most important young Columbian artist. In 1960 he moved to New York and was awarded the Guggenheim National Prize for Columbia. The very same year he separated from his wife. Botero's very refined vivid painting style was first noticeable in his painting ‚Familie Pinzón' in 1965. In 1966 Botero travelled to his first important European exhibition at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden and had his breakthrough in the USA with his first exhibition at an American museum at the Milwaukee Art Center in December. The following years he spent alternately in Columbia, New York and Europe. Since the birth of his son Pedro from a second marriage in 1970, he recorded artistically his first years. Even after the death of his son in a car accident at the age of four he often attended to the motif. In 1973 Botero moved to Paris, where his first sculptures where executed. Temporarily he only attended to sculptures before resuming painting in 1978. In 1983 he settled in Tuscany, for two years he only painted bull fight scenes, which were shown at the Marlborough Gallery in New York in 1985. To this day Botero's works are shown in numerous international museums and exhibitions. He lives and works in New York and Paris.