LUIS CABALLERO HOLGUIN born in Bogota on this date (d: 1995) was a painter, watercolorist, pastellist and lithographer. Caballero is known for depicting masculine fugures, and his works often include both erotic and violent imagery.
Caballero was raised in a conservative Catholic household. He studied at the Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia) in 1961-62, where he met and was influenced by etcher artist Juan Antonio Roda and art critic Marta Traba. He continued his academic studies in Paris at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, graduating in 1964. It is during this time that he discovered Willem Dekooning and Francis Bacon. Back in Colombia, in 1968, he won First Prize at the First Ibero-American Biennal of Medellin.
Caballero returned to Paris where he found more freedom in 1969 and lived there until 1995, when he returned to Bogota for a special exhibition of his work at the Luis Angel Arango Library.
He died in June of the same year at the age of fifty two.
His figurative works are usually large scale mixed media oil, ink, watercolor washes on either canvas or paper, sometimes incorporating fabrics or rope in a limited range of muted sepia colors, often representing male nude figures, in a contemporary style marked by classic training.
His work was briefly censored by those who considered it “obscene, pornographic and immoral”, even though Caballero himself said: “Maybe the creative impulse is the same as the erotic impulse,” and: “I paint the bodies I would like to possess.” There was definitely a homo-erotic element in the works that focused on the beauty of the male body (unusual in a world that loves to celebrate the feminine form) as well as moments of horror in his depictions of the pain, injury, decay and death inflicted on our bodies.