David Alfaro Siqueiros 1896-1974
David Alfaro Siquerios was by far the most politically active of the three Mexican muralists. He was a sophisticated political ideologist who was involved in the political conflicts of the Mexican Revolution serving as a protestor, demonstrator, and soldier. His radical political beliefs eventually got him expelled from Mexico. He spent many years in jail for his actions and this influenced his art greatly. Siquerios often painted the sufferings of prison life. He too attended the San Carlos Academy, impressively he was admitted at the young age of 15. His travels to Europe brought him in contact with the artwork of Goya. The themes and images of war in their works are very similar. Classical art, Italian Renaissance art, and Italian Futurism also influenced him greatly. Siquerios believed that "art must no longer be the expression of individual satisfaction (which) it is today, but should aim to become a fighting educative art for all." 1
The Proletarian Victim expresses the personal impact that social oppression has on the human. The ropes binding the body symbolize the oppressive government and upper class over the peasants. The title also shows his class-conciousness. His most famous painting was Echo of a Scream. This piece was inspired by his experiences during active combat and his observations of suffering. By illustrating a baby, this piece emphasizes the internal suffering of the innocent victims of the Revolution. New Democracy depicts a woman who is trying to shatter the bonds of oppression and exploitation. She is shown carrying a torch of freedom to symbolize the new order. He includes strong visions of the future, similar to Rivera. Classical influence is shown in his approach to idealize human body form. Sometimes he exaggerates with expressive emotion, similar to Diego Rivera. With his death came an end to a great movement in modern art.
Picture from Art Dossier