Débora Arango’s 114th Birthday : Google Doodle celebrates pioneering Colombian artist Débora Arango

Débora Arango’s 114th Birthday : Google Doodle celebrates pioneering Colombian artist Débora Arango

Débora Arango Pérez (November 11, 1907 – December 4, 2005) was a Colombian artist, born in Medellín, Colombia as the daughter of Castor María Arango Díaz and Elvira Pérez. Though she was primarily a painter, Arango also worked in other media, such as ceramics and graphic art. Throughout her career, Arango used her artwork to explore many politically charged and controversial issues, her subjects ranging from nude women to the role of the Roman Catholic Church to dictatorships.

Description of style


Dramatic, visible brush strokes are consistent throughout of Arango’s artworks. Because much of her art has political and/or social implications, Arango’s technique is used to evoke emotions and inspire the viewer. It is because of this that Arango is often characterized as a figurative expressionist.Expressionism can be identified by the altering and distorting of reality to convey a subjective meaning, and this is certainly evident in Arango’s works.

Her style, along with her social and political subject matter, is also a factor for why Arango’s work was often overlooked and/or rejected during much of her career. Cubism was the popular movement at this time, and Arango refused to cater to what was considered acceptable


Arango donated 233 pieces of her artwork to Medellín Museum of Modern Art in 1986. Though she was often shunned during the years when she was producing some of her more provocative works, she is now viewed as one of the most important artists of Colombia, as a feminist and as a political artist.

She was awarded the Order of Boyaca, the highest homage in Colombia, in 2003, the last painting that she painted was for her best friend Mateo Blanco (Portrait of a Friend); this the painting went on tour to United States. She died on December 14, 2005, at 98 years old, and only stopped working a few years before her death, when her body simply would no longer allow her to paint.

Google Doodle celebrates pioneering Colombian artist Débora Arango

Débora Arango, a pioneering Colombian artist, is the subject of today’s Doodle. Her self-described expressionist paintings, in which she took on social injustice, combined her own figurative style with Mexican muralist techniques from the early twentieth century. Despite the initial backlash, Arango’s work changed the way Colombian women were viewed in society and is an important moment in the country’s art history.

Débora Arango's 114th Birthday

Débora Arango was born in Medelln, Colombia, on this date in 1904. Arango’s mother pushed her to pursue a career in painting. At a competition for professional artists in Medelln in 1939, she was the first woman to include nude paintings in her exhibit. Her exhibition’s controversial nature sparked significant outrage, and she was awarded first place for her art.

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The powerful brushstrokes used by Arango in her paintings matched the subject matter she depicted. Medellin from the 1940s and ’60s was depicted by her in an uncensored way, highlighting the political turbulence, gender inequality and social injustice that characterised the period. For the first time in 1975, Arango was permitted to hold a solo exhibition in Medelln after overcoming decades of censorship at home and abroad.

The Order of Bocaya, Colombia’s highest civilian decoration, was one of several honours bestowed to Arango after her death. A permanent collection of Arango’s paintings are on exhibit at the Medelln Museum of Modern Art, which serves as a powerful time capsule of Colombian history.

Congratulations, Débora Arango, on the occasion of your birthday!

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