Angel Botello is a Latin-American 20th cc master. The majority of his imagery represents universal themes of family maternity and children engaged in everyday pursuits, often with whimsical humor. His style of reduced lines and forms has formal parallels in the work of Matisse and Picasso, but responds to an entirely different set of coordinates, proper to the artist’s own refined vision and to the tropical latitudes which saw emerge and develop his distinctive style. Even so, his use of color, bright and arbitrary, responds to mood and design rather than nature. Botello’s works appear frequently in auctions alongside Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Fernando Botero and Frida Khalo.
Excelling from the outset as an art student, Botello quickly broke away from the strict academic training received at prestigious art schools in France (Bordeaux) and Spain (Madrid) during the 1930’s, incorporating postimpressionist concepts and techniques. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 interrupted the young man’s promising artistic career. Having fought and lost on the Republican side, he was forced to immigrate following Franco’s victory in 1939 –first to France, and the following year to the Caribbean.
During the 1940’s, Botello lived principally in Santo Domingo and in Port au Prince, where he met and married in 1945 his lifelong companion, Christiane. During WWII, Haiti had an open doors policy towards European immigrants. Botello would establish close friendships there with intellectuals and artists like Andre Breton and Wilfredo Lam, among others. During this period he also became increasingly recognized and critically acclaimed. In 1953 he established himself definitely in Puerto Rico, where he would go on to develop for the next 33 years the most prolific period in his artistic career, because of the quality, quantity and the variety of mediums employed.
This is known as the “Botellian Style” period, characterized by a strong figurative component and surrealist influence. The advent of children in Botello’s life during this period introduced the child and the family as recurring and enduring subjects in his work.
The majority of his imagery represents universal themes centered on the family, maternity, and children engaged in everyday pursuits, often with whimsical humor. The myriad facets of women, influenced also by his mother, his wife, and his daughter, are a constant throughout his career.