Botero is a painter, sculptor, and draftsman renowned for his extravagantly rounded figures combining the polish and excess of Spanish colonial baroque with the social realism of the Mexican muralists. Their humorous exaggeration belies the more serious content of Botero’s work—commentary on colonialism, political instability in Latin America, and the vernacular artistic traditions of the region, as well as European art history.
With whimsical irony and a style reminiscent of the old masters, Fernando Botero (b.1932) began painting caricatured animals and corpulent bodies with disproportionate heads at a time when his contemporaries were fervently rejecting figurative work in favor of abstraction. More recently he has expanded into sculpture, creating delightful large-scale bronze works portraying the same sorts of voluminous figures he so loved to paint. Like the writings of Gabriel García Márquez or the music of Astor Piazzola, Botero`s work has come to represent modern Latin American culture.