- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - More than a dozen paintings and sculptures from Colombian artist Fernando Botero will be offered next week at an auction of Latin American masterpieces.

“A Family,” a 1972 painting that depicts Botero’s famous corpulent silhouettes, is the most expensive piece of the collection and could sell for as much as $1.5 million in the auction Wednesday. It shows a five-member family posing in front of colorful trees.

Botero is the most instantly recognizable artist in the world,” said Axel Stein, vice president of senior business development for Sotheby’s. “People laugh at Botero’s style but his draftsman skills are unparalleled.”

The 1992 bronze sculpture “Man on a Horse” is one of the artist’s most important sculptures, the auctioneer said, and could fetch up to $1.2 million. Botero’s two most expensive paintings, “The Musicians” and “Four Musicians,” were sold in May 2006 for a little more than $2 million each.

The art sale in New York will also feature Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, whose tiny self-portrait, “Autorretrato en Miniatura,” has a presale estimate of up to $1.2 million.