Take a stroll in the center of Medellin, and before too long you’ll come across a square full of fat people.
No, this isn’t the Big Mac Fan Club Monthly MeetUp, this is Parque Berrio/Plaza Botero, and the calorically-challenged are the work, and indeed trademark of, “the most Colombian of Colombian artists” (his words, not mine), painter and sculptor Fernando Botero.
A local boy, born in Medellin in 1932 Botero has been producing paintings and sculptures in his distinctive style for the last 50 years.
Much of his work takes classically recognized genres, such as the portrait and still life, and “fatifies” them.
Other pictures deal with more contemporary issues such as the shooting of Pablo Escobar or his portrait of FARC boss Tirofijo, but all of them using the same unmistakable style.
A lot of the time however, Botero just seems to have fun. The sculptures in Botero Plaza are a great example of this – the cat and the man on a horse being my favorites, but see also his Mona Lisa.
The Museo de Antioquia on the same square as the sculptures has a great permanent exhibition as does the Museo Botero in Bogota (which is free) – both are great places to spend a few hours in the company of Colombia’s biggest (in every sense of the word) artist.