“Our primary aesthetic aim is to propagate works of art which will help destroy all traces of bourgeois individualism.” – David Alfaro Siqueiros  

Mexican painter and muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros is known for his large public murals, whose work mirrored his Marxist political views. Along with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, he was one of the three pioneers of the contemporary school of Mexican mural painting. Siqueiros, a political activist from his adolescence, studied at Mexico City’s San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts before joining Venustiano Carranza’s army during the Mexican Revolution in 1913. He afterward pursued his art studies in Europe.

While coming to Mexico in 1922, Siqueiros assisted in the painting of frescoes on the façade of the National Preparatory School and began organizing and directing groups of artists. And during the Spanish Civil War, which lasted from 1936-39, he led various Republican brigades.

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David Alfaro Siqueiros_©https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130519329

His career and philosophy

Siqueiros created a series of politically motivated lithographs in the early twentieth century, including his imprisonment in Lecumberri Prison, many of which have been displayed in the United States. In 1932, he organized an exhibition and conference called “Rectifications on Mexican Muralism” at the Spanish Casino Gallery in Taxco, Guerrero.

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David Alfaro Siqueiros in Lecumberri Prison_©https://mxcity.mx/2019/07/siqueiros-arte-prision-de-lecumberri/

Tropical America was also finished in 1932, with a crew of students, at the Italian Hall on Olvera Street in Los Angeles. Siqueiros was forced to re-evaluate his muralist practice after painting a fresco on an outdoor wall that was visible to passersby and purposeful viewers. Instead of just creating “a bigger easel painting,” he understood that the mural “must fit to a spectator’s typical transit.” He wanted the picture of an Indian peon being crucified by American tyranny to be seen from several perspectives.

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David Alfaro Siqueiros Tropical America_©https://www.flickr.com/photos/cityprojectca/5612030584

Siqueiros would eventually develop a mural strategy that involved tracing figures onto the surface with only an electronically controlled projector, documenting early wall illustrations to keep improving perspective, and introducing new paints, spray guns, and other techniques to adjust the exterior of modern houses and outdoor circumstances. The following year, he was expelled from the United States for political engagement. When he returned to York in 1936, he was the honored guest at the St. Regis gallery’s “Contemporary Arts” show. He also led a political painting class there in preparation for something like the 1936 General Strike for Peace and May Day procession.

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Poliforum Siqueiros ,Mexico_©https://www.hisour.com/david-alfaro-siqueiros-4360/

The workshop was visited by a young Jackson Pollock, who assisted with constructing parade floats.

In reality, Siquieros is attributed with introducing Pollock’s drip and pour techniques, which culminated in his complete paintings, which were created between 1947 and 1950 and are considered Pollock’s best achievement. The Siqueiros Exploratory Workshop continued somewhat over a year before Siqueiros left for the Spanish Civil War in April 1937; however, All the processions in Manhattan’s fashion district between 1936 and 1937 included its floats.

“Room with Revolutionists,” written in 1934, is centered on a dialogue between ′′New Masses′′ editor, poet, and Left reporter Joseph Freeman and Siqueiros; inside it, Siqueiros is characterized as “a revolutionist a painter of great areas, editor of fiery and terrifying words, leader of the poor who plant, the poor who burrow under the earth in field and mine. His life’s an always upward-delving battle in an old torn sweater, the pockets always empty.”

(Source: Rolfe, Edwin, Cary Nelson, and Jefferson Hendricks. Trees Became Torches: Selected Poems. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995. p. 146)

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Torment and Apotheosis of Cuauhtémoc, 1950-51 (Museum of the Palace of FineArts)_©https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/later-europe-and-americas/modernity-ap/a/mexican-muralism-los-tres-grandes-david-alfaro-siqueiros-diego-rivera-and-jos-clemente-orozco

His style of work and recognition 

Siqueiros thought art should be public, educational, and ideological as a painter and sculptor. He primarily created murals and other pictures of the revolution, including its ideals, history, and ongoing persecution of the working masses. Since he depicted the human battle to overthrow dictatorial, capitalist power, he depicted ordinary people as essentially participating in this conflict. Although his works occasionally contain landscapes or people from Mexican mythology and history, these aspects are frequently secondary to the tale of leaders or heroes.

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David Alfaro Siqueiros- The March of Humanity_©https://www.wikiart.org/en/david-alfaro-siqueiros/the-march-of-humanity

At the Academy in Mexico City, he became fascinated by the human form. His emphasis on physical angles, tendons, and joints can be observed over his work in his representation of the powerful revolutionary body. Furthermore, several of his paintings, particularly those from the 1930s, notably depict hands, which may be understood as yet another heroic emblem of proletariat power through labor: his self-portrait in imprisonment and even his collection on working women, notably The Sob.

David Alfaro Siqueiros – The Sob(1939)_©https://www.wikiart.org/en/david-alfaro-siqueiros/the-sob-1939

Along with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros is considered one of the three significant pioneers of the Mexican muralism movement. Later after his death, he became famous for his unique artistic style. Furthermore, several exhibitions in his name were organized from 1995-2011.





Kukil is a fourth-year architecture student who enjoys reading and is interested in design, history, and world affairs.She is a firm believer of the philosophy "form follows function," and she frequently expresses her skill sets in developing creative ideas.