The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This brief article, illustrated by a large caricature, uses a humorous tone to comment on the disputes generated by the declarations of sculptors, who were unable to reach an agreement. “Instead of joining forces to fight the little dictator who discriminates against Mexican artists—which is what they’ve turned [Fer]Nando Gamboa into—they’re busy throwing sculptures at each other.” In fact, the artists accused each other of plagiarizing European works, ruining landscapes, and conceiving monstrosities. Undoubtedly, the image that most critics received (in this and other articles) was the monumental image of President Miguel Alemán by Ignacio Asúnsolo, leader of the anti-foreign stance: his “head of Stalin, with a body that is a fuselage of Britannia planes, is testing the patience of the students of Ciudad Universitaria [UNAM campus].”
The controversy unleashed over contracts arranged by Fernando Gamboa at the Centro Médico and for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels revealed more than a quarrel among the artists in the guild. Many of the arguments of one group or another were dismissed based on the artwork of the person making the declaration, which generally was considered deplorable. As the discussion became heated, the accusations multiplied as well: “Nando Gamboa—who is a great boa in terms of swallowing budgets—applies a Machiavellian technique: ‘divide and conquer.’ Naturally, all there is to divide is the sculptors, since the budgets he is hoarding will not bedivided with anyone.” In the caricature, a hammer and a sickle are placed on Gamboa’s face, an allusion to his political inclinations; presumably these features were leading him to prefer his “comrades” over those who did not share his ideas.
Indeed, the article titled “Gran-boa asfixia a los escultores mexicanos” makes a pun of Mr. Gamboa’s lastname pointing out a huge [Gran] constrictor [boa] that suffocates Mexican sculptors.