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Larger Than Live, Fernando Botero.

artist Fernando Botero standing before one of his paintings

Artist Spotlight by Geoffrey C Smith

I was enjoying my coffee when I received a news flash from The BBC, "Colombian artist Fernando Botero, who gained worldwide fame with his sculptures and paintings of corpulent figures, has died at the age of 91." I was saddened to hear the news about my fellow artist and as part of my Art Education Series "Artist Spotlight," I wish to share some of his story with you. (Photo Credit to © Prometheus72)

Sometimes controversial, the artist who became larger than life. (1932- 2023) Latin America's best-known artist, Fernando Botero Angulo was a Colombian figurative artist and sculptor. His signature style, also known as "Boterismo", depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume, representing political criticism or humor, depending on the piece. (acording to the Museo Botero, Bogotá)

Botero said he sees his plump figures as evoking the "sensuality of form" according to the Museo Botero, Bogotá. Throughout his career, Botero has been adamant that he does not “paint fat people” as many critics have suggested. Rather he sees what he paints as volume, once describing his work as exploring the “sensuality of form”. His portly figures have seen him tackle diverse subjects, including reinterpretations of Old Master paintings, Latin American street scenes, domestic life, and satirical portraits of political figures. The volume of his characters allows the artist to emphasize and highlight certain features, increasing their impact.

I understand he had a difficult life as he would rather paint or sketch instead of focus on other ventures, which feels very close to my experience. It seems to me he must have been very brave to volumize his art, using it as a tool to express his ideas instead of just making a pretty flower he created a visual story. He too was a prolific painter and sculptor, I am compelled to create art and he must also have felt that drive. I have seen his art many times, from Miami to Europe. I enjoy his sensual plump figures and the humor often found in his art. I like to think if we had met somewhere we could have shared a laugh. It looks like he had a full life. Anyway, all we want is to be remembered well. I wanted to share his art with you so you can enjoy it too.

Cheers to you Botero!

Geoffrey Smith

If you wish to learn more and see a great article, take a look below at the first link.


Google Arts & Culture created a fantastic page on Botero, CLICK HERE to see some of his best-known works.

Fernando Botero and his work

The Colombian artist poses with one of his iconic works at a museum in Turkey in 2010.

© Prometheus72/

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