David (Siqueiros) and Goliath

David Siqueiros Self Portrait

By Alan Siegel

Los Tres Grandes Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco, were the three great painters of the Mexican Mural Movement. In 1948, David Siqueiros came to San Miguel to teach mural painting to art students and, along with the students, painted a mural in Bellas Artes, which is still there for all to see.

“David (Siqueiros) and Goliath”
Wed, Mar 11, 5pm
Bellas Artes
Hernández Macías 75
152 0289

Mamie Spiegel will give a slide presentation about Siqueiros, who was a genuinely fascinating character. Friends describe him as “bursting with enthusiasm, energy, and ideas.” He was, they said, “mercurial, bombastic, voluble, extremely eloquent, and exceptionally charming.” One of his three wives called him “impatient, egoistic, self-idolizing, impetuous, and audacious.” And, as you can see from his self-portrait, he was a powerhouse.

At 16, Siqueiros became a soldier, fighting in the Mexican Revolution for four years, where he saw firsthand the degradation of Mexican workers and peasants. This began his lifelong commitment to free his country from oppression. Siqueiros was a fighter, and he fought his entire life against the Goliath of injustice. Siqueiros was a passionate Communist, who felt that painting and sculpture should serve the proletariat. His murals were often too radical for his viewers, and many of the murals were abandoned, removed, or hastily covered up. He was frequently jailed for his political activism, often beaten and put in solitary confinement. When he was 63, by then an internationally acclaimed painter, a repressive government threw him in jail for four years. While in prison he made hundreds of paintings. He disdained old fashioned materials like oil paint and paintbrushes, preferring commercial paints and spray guns.

Siqueiros was a phenomenal painter. Spiegel will show many pictures of Siqueiros paintings and murals and describe the development of his work over time. She will talk about the mural he created in Bellas Artes. Siqueiros wrote a book, How to Paint a Mural, about painting the mural in SMA, which reveals a great deal of interesting information about the work. Bellas Artes is willing to keep the mural room open, so audience members can visit the mural after the lecture.

Spiegel is the author of the history book San Miguel and the War of Independence. There is no charge. It’s free!


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