Art: From Orphan Boy to President

In the slums of Buenos Aires, one of Argentina's best-known painters last week opened an exhibition. Thin, baldish, shy Benito Quinquela Martín held his show in the slums because he lived there.

La Boca ("The Mouth"), a bedraggled, crowded, riverside quarter of corrugated iron shacks, docks, fish markets, is regarded by Porteños (colloquial for citizens of Buenos Aires) as the Montmartre of Buenos Aires. There, for many years, Quinquela Martín has painted La Boca's muscular sailors and barnacled boats, exhibiting his work in a little combination school and museum near his home. When, a few years ago, La Boca jocularly declared...

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