19 October 2012

Unequal Time for Siqueiros


Before we leave the subject of murals once again, I think we should give at least a nod to David Alfaro Siqueiros, the man whose name I persist in misspelling. With Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, Siqueiros was one of the Big Three Mexican muralists of the early Twentieth Century.



This is my shapshot of "The New Democracy," perhaps Siqueiros's most famous mural located in Palacio de Belles Artes in Mexico City. There are two people walking in front of it across the way there. That will give you some idea of its scale. 

One must pay a surcharge at the door there for permission to take photos. I had not paid and was apprehended soon after taking this snapshot. I was able to persuade the guard, however, that it was a good faith misunderstanding. For a better, stolen photo please see the original entry on this. Perhaps I should mention again that I no longer steal photos for my blogs.



Other work by Siqueiros on display in Belles Artes. Siqueiros studied and worked here in San Miguel de Allende for a time. The local Belles Artes features an unfinished, abstract mural by him that fills a room.

In addition to being a powerful muralist, Siqueiros was a Stalinist and a gunman. I take the position that we should always make a careful distinction between Stalinists and Communists. There is an obvious propaganda ambience about Siqueiros's work. Siqueiros participated in an attempt on the life of Leon Trotsky when Trotsky was living in exile in Mexico City.

What about José Orozco Clemente, you ask? To which I respond that unfortunately Orozco just does not pull my trigger, although I have posted a few stolen photos of his murals in this blog. Have I mentioned that I no longer . . . ?

Why did murals become so important in Mexico? You can read a short explanation here. You can also read something on the subject with a bit more detail here.

1 comment:

27thstreet said...

Funny thing Steve, but when I look at the photos of the New Democracy, Democracy is not the first thing that pops to mind.