By Doctor Raul Oyuela
Orlando Agudelo-Botero is without a doubt one of the most innovative artists in the creation of graphic works and multiples. Employing a profusion of techniques he has created editions of exquisite beauty and originality. As a painter, Orlando Agudelo-Botero is a self-taught artist who has developed according to his own creative instincts. When he began to work in this medium, however, Orlando studied printmaking, primarily serigraphy, at the Art Institute of Southern California. While having executed both aquatint etchings and stone lithographs, serigraphy has remained the cornerstone of his work in printmaking.
In a time when the creation of graphic impressions has developed to the point where even governments have problems with the falsification of their currencies and fake prints and inflated editions have proliferated in the marketplace, Orlando Agudelo-Botero’s multiple editions are among a small number that have established credibility, authenticity and originality. Indeed, these qualities have been the hallmark of his career and speak volumes on the integrity of both the art and the artist.
Because of the meticulous handwork in each individual piece and out of respect for the collector, Orlando Agudelo-Botero has maintained a small edition size. In the early 1980’s he kept each of his editions to one hundred or less, but beginning in 1989 Orlando began releasing smaller editions, most often fifty pieces and in the case of The Offering, an assemblage or multi-media composition (a technique first used by Picasso in 1914) which included hand pulled serigraphy, a collage of gold leaf, birch bark and hand sewn fibers on German etching paper mounted on museum board with hand painting, only eighteen pieces were created. As this previous example illustrates, Orlando employs a wide range of techniques in the creation of his multiples, including embossing, collages of gold, silver and copper leaf, sheet music, exotic paper and tin. Most importantly, Orlando hand finishes each piece in the edition, establishing the integrity between his unique works on paper and canvas and his multiples.
In recent years, while Orlando has continued to collaborate with a master printer in the creation of some multiple editions, he has also established his own multiple atelier in his 7200 square foot studio complex in Miami. Here, such notable editions as The Bounty, Amor: La Familia VII and Primavera have been created incorporating a bas relief process developed by the artist.
In this very special world of graphic works and multiples, from Rembrandt’s etchings to Picasso’s woodblock prints, we have the appearance of innovators who, while utilizing known techniques, also study, modify and improve this specialized medium, making a contribution that will be engraved in the history of the arts. Orlando Agudelo-Botero is one such artist whose originality, creative artistry and integrity has advanced this often difficult field. Thanks to his virtuosity and generous spirit he enriches our lives through his art.