© Fernando Botero in his atelier, Paris, 1990, Bron T for tout, photo : Manuel Litran
One of the most successful and famous artists working today, Fernando Botero is known for his paintings and sculptures of exaggerated, voluptuous forms. His art celebrates a remarkably vivid, vital reality through the exaltation of volume and colour and mostly depicts the comedy of human life – moving or wry, baroque in expression, sometimes with a mocking observation, sometimes with a deep, elementary emotion.

Fernando Botero

Circus girl with pet
2008
170 x 120 cm / 67.7 x 47.2 in

An artist is attracted to certain types of forms without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; it is only later that you try to rationalise or even justify it.
-Fernando Botero
© Fernando Botero in his atelier, Paris, 1990, Bron T for tout, photo : Manuel Litran

Fernando Botero

Pas de Deux
2004
Oil on canvas
139 x 99 cm / 54.7 x 39 in

Fernando Botero

Woman on two horses
2007
Colored pencils and charcoal on paper
42 x 32 cm / 16.5 x 12.6 in

Fernando Botero

Dancer with a cane
2007
Pencil and charcoal on paper
40 x 30 cm / 15.7 x 11.8 in

Fernando Botero

Dancer with green tutu and with orange plumed
2007
Pencil and watercolor on paper
40 x 30 cm / 15.7 x 11.8 in

The circus allows one to be logical and unreal at the same time. In the circus, all is possible: there can be a man with two heads or a character with a green face.
-Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero

Equilibrist with a chair and a bottle
2007
Pencil, charcoal and colored pencils on paper
40 x 30 cm / 15.7 x 11.8 in

Fernando Botero

Trapezist couple with a rope
2007
Pencil, charcoal and colored pencils on paper
41 x 31 cm / 16.1 x 12.2 in

The artist, painter and sculptor Fernando Botero poses in his studio on the eve of his eightieth birthday. Monte Carlo, March 15th, 2012. (Photo by Massimo Sestini/Mondadori via Getty Images)

Fernando Botero

Dancer
2011
Bronze
44 x 40 x 56 cm / 17.3 x 15.7 x 22 in

Fernando Botero

Couple Drinking
2011
Pencil and watercolor on canvas
98 x 132 cm / 38.6 x 52 in

The sketch is almost everything. It is the painter's identity, his style, his conviction, and then the colour is just a gift to the drawing.
-Fernando Botero
(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Fernando Botero

Dancers, circa
2003
Bronze
67 x 42 x 26 cm / 26.4 x 16.5 x 10.2 in

Fernando Botero

Woman pulling her tights
2014
Oil on canvas
100 x 80 cm / 39.4 x 31.5 in

People think I am a painter of fat women, but I draw volumes.
-Fernando Botero
Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero poses with one of his paintings in his Paris studio. Sygma via Getty Images / Getty Images
I have never worked with models. A model for me would be a limitation to my freedom to draw or paint. I have never put three objects on a table to make a still life. Nor have I ever placed myself in a particular place to reproduce a landscape. In fact, I don't need anything in front of me. My choices of characters are arbitrary and all are the fruit of my imagination.
-Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero

Odalisque
1998
Pastel on canvas
105.1 x 128.9 cm / 41.4 x 50.7 in

Fernando Botero

Femme au Serpent
1983
Bronze
14 x 44.5 x 25.5 cm / 5.5 x 17.5 x 10 in

Fernando Botero's sculptural works are mostly inspired by the art of Ancient Egypt and early American cultures. The latter are also a reference to the cult of fertility, recalling prehistoric idols.
My work is a self-portrait of my mind, a prism of my beliefs.
-Fernando Botero
© Journal Un Suceco Nacional LaVoz

Fernando Botero

General
2006
Oil on canvas
184 x 110 cm / 72.4 x 43.3 in

Fernando Botero

The Street
1989
Oil on canvas
119 x 91 cm / 46.9 x 35.8 in

Fernando Botero

Grand cheval
1992
Bronze
154,9 x 109,2 x 68,6 cm / 61 x 43 x 27 in

Sculptures allow me to create a real volume, you can touch the shapes, you can give them softness, all the sensuality you want.
-Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero

Woman on a horse
2010
Bronze
120 x 80 x 56 cm / 47.2 x 31.5 x 22 in

Fernando Botero

Cheval
2005
Bronze
86,4 x 101,6 x 50,2 cm / 34 x 40 x 19.8 in

Fernando Botero

Lawyer and Secretary
2010
Oil on canvas
206 x 129 cm / 81.1 x 50.8 in

His distinctive style of swollen and smooth forms with unexpected changes in scale, reflect the artist's constant search to give presence and reality to volume.

Fernando Botero

Oiseau, circa
2003
Marble
55 x 17 x 14 cm / 21.7 x 6.7 x 5.5 in

Fernando Botero

Nature Morte à l’Ananas
1988
Oil on canvas
146.1 x 198.1cm / 57.5 x 78 in

When I paint an apple or an orange, I know that it will be possible to recognise them, and that I am the one painting them, because I try to give each painted element, even the simplest one, a personality that comes from a deep conviction.
-Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero

Still Life
2009
Watercolour on paper
105.5 x 75 cm / 41.5 x 29.5 in

Fernando Botero

Untitled
2004
Pen and Watercolour on paper
28.5 x 36 cm / 11.2 x 14.2 in

Photo © Ruben Afanador
Botero has brought a new interpretation to the aesthetics of our time, the circus, Latin American life, still life, reinterpretations of past masters of art history… The artist's works contain many references to his own culture, and in a unique style, they question the concept of beauty in our century.

He has created monumental sculptures for public spaces in many major cities, including New York (Park Avenue), Paris (Champs-Élysées), Rome and Monte Carlo. His works are found in many important private and public collections, such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.); Ho-am Museum (Seoul); Israel Museum (Jerusalem); Kunsthalle Nuremberg (Nuremberg); Museo d'Arte Moderna del Vaticano (Rome); Museum Moderne Kunst (Vienna); Neue Pinakothek (Munich); Staatgalerie Moderne Kunst (Munich); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Tel Aviv); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); The Museum of Modern Art (New York); and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York).