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Pop Culture in Colombia

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Popular Colombian Music.
Music in Colombia can be divided into three main categories: traditional, modern, and commercial. Talking about the first category, it is more common to find music full of rhymes, instruments and dancing which represents the culture and the color of the region.

The second category can be defined as being influenced by world tendencies; so it is common to find groups that play some kind of music with social messages and are trying to change their reality by means of their music. This is probably because in the last couple years there has been a change in the way people view politics and lifestyle, so it is seen that the world can be moved by music.

The last category, probably the most famous one, is the commercial one. Singers such as Shakira or Juanes, who have made a different kind of music, follow global tendencies and respond to business demands more than cultural representation.

Colombian literature.
Undoubtedly one of the most famous Colombian figures in this matter is the Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez; his books are famous around the globe and most of them have been made into films. Unfortunately, Marquez’ fame has also opaqued other writers’ progress so it is difficult for them to be recognized; here are some of the most prominent Colombian writers: Aurelio Arturo, Jose Asuncion Silva, Mario Rivero, Alvaro Mutis, Jorge Franco and some others who truly deserve more recognition and fame.

Colombian Art.
There a huge selection of artists, especially painters, who have created great masterpieces and are famous around the world. Their artwork sometimes represents the things they had to live and the context they were surrounded by; in some other cases they explore global ideas of art and painting. The information provided these famous artists was taken directly from Wikipedia.
Enrique Grau
Enrique Grau (December 18, 1920 – April 1, 2004) was a Colombian artist, renowned for his depictions of Amerindian and Afro-Colombian figures. He was a member of the triumvirate of key Colombian artists of the 20th century which included Fernando Botero and Alejandro Obregón.
Grau was born in Panama City, just like many of the children of his time he was raised in Cartagena, Colombia. He was the son of Enrique Grau Velez and Carmen Araujo Jimenez. A self-made artist he was influenced by the Colombian Masters Ignacio Gomez Jaramillo, Santiago Martinez Delgado and Pedro Nel Gómez, he studied at the Art Students League in New York, USA, in the early 1940s. He later toured Italy, where he learned etching and fresco techniques before moving to the city of Cartagena.
He won the Salón de Artistas Colombianos in 1957 launching a well noted career in the arts. His associations of white, black and indigenous figures and objects such as masks, eggs, fruit or cages brought him international fame, with exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and the Paris Museum of Modern Art. Grau donated 1,300 works of art (including some by other artists) to the city of Cartagena; these will be used to establish a museum, due to open in late 2004.
Enrique Grau died in Bogotá, Colombia, at the age of 83.
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Fernando Botero
Fernando Botero Angulo (born April 19, 1932) is a Colombian figurative artist, self-titled “the most Colombian of Colombian artists” early on. He came to national prominence when he won the first prize at the Salón de Artistas Colombianos in 1958. Working most of the year in Paris, in the last three decades he has achieved international recognition for his paintings, drawings and sculpture, with exhibitions across the world. His work includes still-lifes and landscapes, Botero has concentrated on situational portraiture. His paintings and sculptures are united by their proportionally exaggerated, or “fat” figures, as he once referred to them.
Botero is an abstract artist in the most fundamental sense, choosing colors, shapes, and proportions based on intuitive aesthetic thinking. Though he spends only one month a year in Colombia, he considers himself the “most Colombian artist living” due to his insulation from the international trends of the art world.
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Alejandro Obregón
Daniel Alberto Alejandro María de la Santísima Trinidad Obregón Roses most commonly known as Alejandro Obregón (June 4, 1920 — April 11, 1992) was a Colombian painter, muralist, sculptor and engraver.
Obregón was born in Barcelona, Spain, the son of a Colombian father and a Catalan mother. Most of his childhood was spent in Barranquilla, Colombia and Liverpool, England. In 1939, he studied fine arts in Boston for a year and then returned to Barcelona to serve as Vice Consul of Colombia for four years. In 1948, Obregón was named Director of the School of Fine Arts in Santafé de Bogotá where he was influenced in the frescostyle by Masters Pedro Nel Gómez and Santiago Martinez Delgado. His career as director lasted barely a year, but the seeds of change that he planted took rapid root. The following year, he moved to Paris, France and exhibited work throughout France, Germany and Switzerland. He then went to Alba, near Avignon in France, where he remained until 1955. A painting from that year, Still Life in Yellow, shows that his personal style was then fully developed, and exhibits the formal elements that came to characterize his work. In 1962 he wins the Salón de Artistas Colombianos, price that launched him as one of the greatest Colombian artists of the 20th century.
Obregón is above all a painter. His compositions are usually divided horizontally into two areas of different pictorial value or size, but of equal visual intensity. Other elements take their place against them. Colour plays a fundamental role in integrating the structures of his ingenious design, first in geometric forms and then in controlled expressionism.
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David Manzur
David Manzur (born Neira Caldas, 1929) Colombian painter, He studied in the Escuela de Arte Claret en las Palmas, Islas Canarias, David Manzur is mostly recognized for his breathtaking murals in Bogota, Cali and Miami, where he lives and works. The painter has presented a wide diversity of topics such as portrays, el bodegon and some other featuring the human shape. He has always been interested in having a bound relationship with European artists, which in part influences his style.
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