1. Literature. Here is my previous post on Garcia Marquez; I forgot to mention Love in the Time of Cholera.
2. Painter: Fernando Botero. Most of the Boteros you are likely to see are very weak, but his early work can be stunning; at ArtFair in Miami I saw a watermelon still life from the 1950s. Rest assured, he was once a painter of genius, but I cannot find a convincing reproduction on-line. I don’t think he sold out, rather he felt compelled to paint as much as possible, I don’t know why.
4. Music: I don’t feel ready to judge Aterciopelados until I see them live. Yana has played plenty of Juanes for me, it is good Latin pop with hooks. Afro-Colombian music is noteworthy, here are some styles. I’ve never found a really good CD of Cumbia.
5. Movie: I thought Maria Full of Grace was overrated — too predictable, yes cocaine mules run great risks — but it is the only one I know.
6. Continental Liberator: Simon Bolivar.
7. Blogger and sociologist: Fabio Rojas, occasional guest-blogger here at MR. Here is his page on art and music, recommended.
8. Random category: Sofia Vergara ought to count for something. Often she dyes her hair dark to look more Latina for U.S. roles.
The bottom line: My knowledge here is patchy, and that is one reason why I am visiting. By the way if you live in Bogota, do drop me a line.