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David Alfaro Siqueiros | Social Realist Painter | Art Latina

David Alfaro Siqueiros was a Mexican social realist painter, better known for his large murals in fresco. Along with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, he established "Mexican Muralism." He was a Marxist-Leninist in support of the Soviet Union and a member of the Mexican Communist Party who participated in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Leon Trotsky in May 1940.

Born December 29, 1896, in Chihuahua – and Died January 6, 1974, in Cuernavaca, Morelos)

Notable work Portrait of the Bourgeoisie (1939–1940), The March of Humanity (1957–1971)

After spending many years in Mexico and heavily involved in radical political activities, Siqueiros went to Los Angeles in 1932 to continue his career as a muralist. Working in a collective unit that experimented with new painting techniques using modern devices such as airbrushes, sprayguns and projectors,Siqueiros and his team of collaborators painted two major murals. 

Siqueiros was eventually arrested in 1960 for openly criticizing the President of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos, and leading protests against the arrests of striking workers and teachers, though the charges were commonly known to be false.

As a muralist and an artist, Siqueiros believed art should be public, educational, and ideological. He painted mostly murals and other portraits of the revolution – its goals, its past, and the current oppression of the working classes. Because he was painting a story of human struggle to overcome authoritarian, capitalist rule, he painted the everyday people ideally involved in this struggle. Though his pieces sometimes include landscapes or figures of Mexican history and mythology, these elements often appear as mere accessories to the story of a revolutionary hero or heroes (several works depict the revolutionary "masses", such as the mural at Chapultepec).

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