Fernando Botero was born in Medellin, Colombia. 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. Throughout the 1950s Botero began experimenting with proportion and size. When he moved to New York City in 1960, he had developed his trademark style: paintings and sculptures of inflated human and animal shapes. In these works he referenced Latin-American folk art in his use of flat, bright colour and boldly outlined forms creating elaborate parodies of works of art from the past masters. 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. Outdoor exhibitions of his monumental bronze figures, including Roman Soldier (1985), Maternity (1989), and The Left Hand (1992), were staged around the world in the 1990s.