Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

The writer Alejandro Núñez Alonso ironically comments on the restrictions imposed by the Secretaría de Educación Pública [Ministry of Public Education or SEP]. According to his comments, the visual artists will no longer receive a salary, nor will they be given materials, nor be reimbursed for them. Finally, the SEP reserves the right to accept or even reject the topics illustrated in the creation of public murals. According to Nuñez Alonso, David—as the author calls David Alfaro Siqueiros, as in a pun whose referents had mythical meanings—is an artist who keeps throwing stones at the Goliath of the North. According to him, one does not know if capitalism prefers this caravan of communist paintings—referring to the murals that Siqueiros painted in Los Angeles—or the caravan of hungry immigrants. Caustically, the author of the article mentions that Siqueiros will keep on painting in Los Angeles, because movie moguls do not pay with immortality but with dollars. The article expounds on some opinions about Siqueiros expressed by Arthur Miller and Seymour Stern. 

Annotations

The article conveys an underlying message by making us reflect on the nature of David Alfaro Siqueiros’ (1896-1974) condition as an exile in the city of Los Angeles, California. The painter abandoned his status of house arrest in Taxco (Mexico) by leaving the country and thus questioning the United States policy regarding the three murals with a social message. One should recall that the main mural painted by Siqueiros Los Angeles, La América Tropical (at the Plaza Art Center on Olvera Street), changed meaning at the end of the work when the artist introduced the figure of the crucified Indian. The importance of this article resides in the fact that, even if ironically, it uncovers the official Mexican policy regarding persons such as Siqueiros, who did not endorse the triumphant discourse of the 1910 revolution. 
The article was reprinted in Cuadernos de Bellas Artes, Year III, no. 2, (México, February 1961): 22-23. 

Researcher
Esther Acevedo
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Location
Donación Alma Mérida : Museo Nacional de Arte