"Fernando Botero, Colombian painter. In 1948, he started work as an illustrator. In 1950, he went to Europe, where he attended the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, copied Velázquez and Goya in the Prado and admired the frescoes in Florence. He went on a long visit to Mexico in 1956-57 and the experience of Muralism significantly influenced his future direction. In his own work, he introduced inflated forms, puffing up to an exaggerated size human figures, natural features, and objects of all kinds, celebrating the life within them while mocking their role in the world. He combined the regional with the universal, constantly referring to his native Colombia and also creating elaborate parodies of works of art from the past - whether Dürer, Bonnard, Velázquez or David. Not without humour, the symbols of power and authority everywhere - presidents, soldiers and churchmen - are targeted in his attacks on a society still infantile in its behaviour."
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