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Muralism - Culture And Arts - Mexico

Larger than paintings, longer than comics, more meaningful than graffiti ? Murals!

They are everywhere in Mexico. People have drawn on walls since prehistoric times, but the Mexican mural movement takes a special place in history. After the revolution, the government invited artists to create art that could be seen by the man on the street, by the kind of person who would not normally visit a museum.

Mainly between 1920 and 1940, artists like Los Tres Grandes Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros were commissioned to decorate walls in subways, libraries, theaters, hotels and even government buildings. Each had his own approach, but motifs are often modernist-style depictions of historical events or left-wing political statements intended to build a common ground between the elite and the common man.

The manifesto issued in 1923 by the Syndicate of Revolutionary Painters, Sculptors and Engravers of Mexico reads:

'We repudiate the so-called easel painting and all the art of ultra-intellectual circles because it is aristocratic, and we glorify the expression of monumental art because it is a possession.'

The complexity and sheer size of murals often demanded that a whole team assisted the artist in bringing the wall to life. Artists all over the world have been inspired by Mexican muralists, and the art form still thrives in Mexico. Travelers venturing out to side streets and suburbs anywhere in the country will almost inevitably find murals, but the best places to see the work of Los Tres Grandes are Guadalajara (no Diego Rivera here though) and Mexico City.

Culture and Arts, Culture and Arts Info.




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