Fernando Botero, the Colombian artist best known for his robust, inflated forms and exaggerated human figures, is both living history, and a living legend. Botero was born in MedelÃÂn, in the department of Antioquia, Colombia, on April 19th, 1932. 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, leaving Fernando to grow up with his mother and 2 brothers. It is said that this tragic event left him with a permanent emptiness, a sadness he could never fully put a face to.
The Medellin of modern day is very different than it was when Botero was growing up. Back then, it was a small provincial, quiet town where the Church played a large role in everyone's life and morality. Botero attended a school run by Jesuits who were very strict, and, to add enjoyment to his life, Botero began to draw and later paint.
Growing up he became a huge fan of bullfights, which is a popular sport in Colombia, stemming from Spanish settlers. From the age of 13, he began to paint scenes of bullfights, selling them in front of the arena for 5 pesos, and later, as a professional, he spent nearly 2 years painting only that.
His talent and knowledge of art was evident from early on. When he was only 17 he contributed an article to the Medellin newspaper, El Colombiano, titled Picasso and the Nonconformity of Art which also served to reveal his avant-garde thinking of art.
Botero moved to Bogota in 1951 where he had his first solo exhibition at the Leo Matiz Gallery at the early age of 19. Every single one of his pieces sold. Ironically, Botero...