Orlando Agudelo-Botero's self-taught ability to capture his deepest emotions on canvas has earned him international critical acclaim. Using as major themes education, family, spirituality, and his Latino heritage, Orlando says that his art listens to these who "need to be heard" and speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. Orlando, who believes art is a universal language which is understandable to anyone with an open mind, is one of 11 children raised in the mountains of Columbia. There, in a Jesuit boarding school, he showed an early aptitude for art-a talent for which no formal training was provided.
Orlando had within him the desire to develop his talent, a desire fueled by the encouragement of his mother, who told her children no dream is too distant. With a good education, they could rule the Vatican, Buckingham Palace, or the White House with their heads held high. Orlando did just that in 1989 when he received the White House Hispanic Heritage Award for the visual arts.
Art, Orlando explains, encourages our quest for "light and understanding." Above all, he stresses," We must educate our children."
Both father and uncle are prominent painters. Orlando has art galleries in Miami, Hawaii, and Laguna Negal in Southern California. I remember that he always wore the same paint stained pants and shoes for painting but always a clean and neat shirt. The photograph was taken in his studio in Laguna Negal.