From Doral to Wynwood, Mami showed Fernando Botero love

FILE - Colombian artist Fernando Botero gives an interview in New York, Oct. 30, 2013. Botero died on Sept. 15, 2023 in Monaco, according to his daughter Lina Botero who confirmed his passing to Colombian radio station Caracol. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (Mark Lennihan, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – Tributes to Fernando Botero were plentiful on Friday night on social media. The Colombian artist, who died on Friday in Monaco at 91, left his mark in public and private collections in Miami.

The Nader Museum’s exhibition on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach included “Adam and Eve,” “Male Torso” “Rape of Europa,” “Leda and the Swan,” and the “Bird.”

These bronze sculptures are all part of the museum’s permanent collection, which is so massive that it’s visible from the street in Wynwood. The museum’s indoor “Botero Immersed” exhibit included holograms.

The Doral Contemporary Art Museum held “The Evolution of a Master” exhibit to showcase dozens of posters with the help of Adriana Meneses Art and David Restrepo Art.

The nearly 12-foot-tall sculptures of “Adam and Eve” and the “Seated Woman” were also on display at The Four Seasons Hotel Miami’s seventh-floor lobby in Brickell.

Botero’s works were regular crowd-pleasers at the Miami Beach Convention Center, during Art Basel.


Botero also documented the nightmares of Miami’s Colombian diaspora in works such as “The Death of Pablo Escobar,” “Masacre de Mejor Esquina” and “Manuel Marulanda ‘Tiro fijo’.”

“The painter of our traditions and our defects, the painter of our virtues has died,” Colombian President Gustavo Petro wrote on X. “He painted violence and peace. He painted the pigeon that was rejected one thousand times, and put one thousand times on a throne.”

Botero, who was born Medellín on April 19, 1932, also painted about his days in a bullfighting academy. He lived in Bogotá, Mexico City, Madrid, Paris, and Florence. When he lived in New York, Dorothy Miller bought his ”Mona Lisa, Age Twelve” for the Museum of Modern Art.

Botero was a philanthropist in Colombia. He donated his art collection, which included 180 paintings, including works by Picasso and Marc Chagall, to Colombia’s Central Bank in Bogotá. He also donated 23 of his bronze sculptures, including “The Bird” to the Antioquia Museum in Medellín, which has a room with photos of his late son “Pedrito” Botero, who died in a car crash in Spain.

Attackers tried to destroy “The Bird” in 1995 and killed 22 people in the attempt.

“There were hundreds injured. I was visiting my grandparents. I remember the park in downtown Medellin and those giants,” said Natalia Martinez, a Colombian-American student in Coconut Grove. “They were really just huge. Botero is a legend in so many ways. He gave us all art that we could feel proud of.”

Lina Botero, a daughter from his first marriage to Gloria Zea, told Colombian journalists that Botero had been experimenting with watercolors before he died of complications with pneumonia. Some speculated he had died of a broken heart since his third wife, Sophia Vari, died on May 5, in Monaco. They had wed in 1978.

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.