Mexican artist “David Alfaro Siqueiros” founded the Mexican Mural Movement. Picture of passion sways emotions leading to a different world.
There is a Mexican painter named ”David Alfaro Siqueiros”. He is a famous Mexican wall painter together with “Diego Rivera”, “Jose Clemente Orozco” and “Rufino Tamayo”. “Siqueiros” is special to me. That is because his artwork was the first time to feel the heat of painting. It was “Collective Suicide” by “Siqueiros” at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York City. It is almost 30 years ago. Since then, his name has remained in my memory.
Finally, I had the opportunity to visit Mexico and explore the artworks of “Siqueiros”. His artworks are in several museums and murals in Mexico City. Here are some of his artworks in Mexico City.
Palacio de Bejjas Artes (Palace of Bellas Artes)
This palace has murals of several artists painted on the interior walls of the building. Siqueiros’s artworks are on the inner wall on the third floor, with a total of five paintings. The artwork name and photos are as follows. It is written only in Spanish, I have written in English in brackets. Subjects for all paintings are politics and history. In a way, it is frightening and dreadful. However, after all, the greatness of “Siqueiros” is probably the calorific value of the painting.
I am not an art expert, and therefore I do not know how to draw pictures, but I often see how to draw curves and circles in his paintings. From the top of the five pictures below, from the top, “the iron object in the center of the picture” “arms and leg muscles of the person lying on the left side” “shoulder muscles” “breast and weight” “muscles”. The use of color is also distinctive, but personally, I keep my eyes on this curve.
Castillo de Chapullepec (Chapullepec Castle)
There is a mural of “Siqueiros” on the ceiling of the front stairs of the palace and in the room on the left. In particular, the mural in the room on the left-hand side consists of two connecting room fills up the walls, suggesting that it may have taken a considerable amount of time to complete. Personally, this was the overwhelming and amazing place and space. On the ceiling of the central staircase, there was also painting drawn by “Siqueiros”, but this painting did not allow me to get in due to the sadness of the boy’s expression.
□ Del Porifirsmo a la Revolucion (From Porifirsmo to Revolution)
Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art)
This museum has a section for each artist, and when I visited, there were five artworks in “Siqueiros” section. In Siqueiros’s artworks, the title of the artwork is cool. The title of the picture of a person without a face in the middle was “Nuestra Imagen Actual” (Our current image). The title of the artwork on the far right was “Yo por jo” (I for myself). This sounds like a self-portrait, it is an impression of handsome and ambitious person. “Abstracion” was the second artwork from the right. Personally, this was the most favorite one among the five artworks here. The curve and its coloration were fascinating.
Salo de Arte Piblico Siqueros (Siqueiros Museum)
This is the place that “Siqueiros” used as an atelier. As walking around, I recognize that it is a quiet luxury residential area. Because it is an atelier, it is too small for an art museum, but some artworks are lined up accordingly. Siqueiros’s artworks are in front of the first floor, and there are artworks by young artists at the back of the first floor and the second floor.
The artworks by the young artists are also interesting because it is spirited by “Siqueiros”. There are books near the entrance on the first floor, but it looks like books written as an activist, rather than an artist. In other museums in Mexico City, I have asked, “Is there an art book with only “Siqueiros”?”, However, for some reason, it did not exist.
This place is also famous for its “Siqueiros” murals, but when I visited there, it was under renovation and was not open. However, part of the mural could be seen from outside of the site.
Universidad Nacional Autonama de Mecicos (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
This university is on the southern outskirts of Mexico City. There is a vast, lawn square with a mural by “Siqueiros”, “People to University, University to People”. However, it was under restoration when I visited. There were stepladders on the wall. When viewed from the gap, the color was fading, and it looked like a large-scale restoration to add color.
By the way, Museo “Souyama”, famous for its novel design of the building, had a picture of this painting as a replica right after the entrance. The university has a large campus and I have struggled to find this wall painting. Since it was a holiday, there was a restriction on the campus road, and my taxi driver drove around campus. Finally, the taxi driver asked a policeman in police car on the premises, who leads the taxi to the destination.
The Mexican police, for some reason, I do not have a good image, but this is also the case, and when the bus punctured in other place, the police came and helped bus driver to change tires. It seems that people are kind.
As for the existence of “Siqueiros”, I asked a dozen people, including taxi drivers and locals, about “Siqueiros”, all but one of them knew. Overseas, he is not famous in general, but I surprised that he was very well recognized by the people in Mexico City.
However, when it came to “Do you like or dislike him?”. Nobody answered “I like him” clearly. Of course, I did not ask people who like art, so this answer must be normal. Then, I asked an additional question, “Why you do not like him?” Answer was, “I feel dark when seeing his artworks.”
I strangely convinced this answer. In addition, other than the face as an artist, “Siqueiros” has a face as an activist and deported from Mexico for some time. Certainly, just looking at the title of his artworks, his theme holds a political dimension, however that is why I feel that artwork is powerful.
By the way, “Siqueiros” had an exchange with “Taro Okamoto”, Japanese artist. In the view of color usage, “Taro Okamoto”‘ feels “Brightness”, while “Siqueiros” feels “Darkness”, but I feel that the way of drawing lines, especially how to use curves, is similar.
Visited in 2019.
■ Name of Place : Siqueiros, Wall Painting, Mexico City, Mexico
■ Homepage : Palace of Bellas Artes
(described on Mar 22 2020)