Fernando Botero is one of South America’s best-known and lauded artists and sculptors. With his instantly recognisable public sculptures on show across the world in Barcelona, Singapore and his home city of Medellín, Botero’s work revolves around memories of daily life such as the myths, religions and the folk-art of his native Colombia.
In the 1950s, he studied art in Spain and Florence before moving to New York in 1960 where he was awarded the Guggenheim National Prize for Colombia. At times, his work has been stridently political: in the early 1990s, he painted a series focusing on Colombia’s drug-related violence while, in 2005, Botero gained considerable attention for his Abu Ghraib series influenced by reports of abuse during the Iraq War. Now in his 80s, the artist works and lives in Italy in the commune of Pietrasanta which is also home to sculptors including Julia Vance and Claude Cehes.