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Fernando Botero 1932 - 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 Medel 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 everyones 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 grew to have a very difficult time in parting from his work and became the biggest collector of his own
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