Jose David Alfaro Siqueiros
(1896-1974)


Jose David Alfaro Siqueiros was born in Camargo, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was one of "the big three" Mexican muralists, led by Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. His art directly reflected the time in which he flourished as an artist. His art was deeply rooted in the Spanish Civil War and the Mexican Revolution, The period from the 1920s to the 1950s is known as the Mexican Mural Renaissance, and Siqueiros was active in the attempt to create an art that was at once Mexican and universal. He traveled to Belgium, France, Italy and Spain to study art. In 1966 he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.
Political activism was an important part of Siqueiro's life. He believed art should be public, educational and ideological. He painted mostly murals and portraits of the revolution – its goals, its past, and the oppression of the working classes. He painted the everyday people involved in the struggle. Though his pieces sometimes include landscapes or figures of Mexican history and mythology, these elements appear as mere accessories to the story of a revolutionary hero or heroes.