Fernando Botero (born 1932) Fernando Botero describes himself as "the most Colombian of Colombian artists." He strives in all his work to capture an essential part of himself and his subjects through color and form. His work includes still-life and landscapes, but Botero tends to primarily focus on situational portraiture.
His paintings and sculptures are, on first examination, noted for their exaggerated proportions and the corpulence of the human figures and animal figures. The "fat people" are often thought by critics to satirize the subjects and situations that Botero choose to paint. Botero explains his use of obese figures and forms as such; "An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it." He is an abstract artist in the most fundamental sense of the word, choosing what colors, shapes, and proportions to use based on intuitive aesthetic thinking. This being said, his works are informed by a Colombian upbringing and social commentary is woven all throughout his work.
Botero was born in the Andes Mountains in the heart of Columbia, was raised in a Spanish influenced mountain town of Medellin, whose Catholic churches still maintained the Baroque style. His upbringing was marked by isolation from the traditional art venues such as museums and other cultural infrastructures. His Colombian heritage thusly informs his art.