Botero: The Search for a Style (1948–1963)

by Christian Padilla and Fernando BoteroColombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero (born 1932) is one of the best-known and most celebrated living Latin American artists. His distinctive visual style of softly rounded, inflated shapes―so idiosyncratic that it is described as “Boterismo”―is instantly recognizable all around the world.

But in spite of the visual familiarity of Botero’s work―or perhaps, in part, because of it―Botero is, in some ways, a largely unknown artist. How did he transition from the naturalistic illustrations of his teenage years to his mature Boterismo style? Botero: The Search for a Style tells the story of the artist’s search for his own unique visual identity in the first 15 years of his career. Assimilating the influences of pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial art, the work of Diego Rivera and the Mexican muralists, and the Old Masters at the Prado Museum and the Louvre, Botero gradually developed his distinctive understanding of form and volume. Botero: The Search for a Style excavates the hidden histories within Fernando Botero’s inimitable style.

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