David Alfaro Siqueiros

On this day a great Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros was born. He was a mural painter, renown for whose work reflected his Marxist ideology.

Soviet art historian and publicist Inga Karetnikova wrote in her memoires about Siqueiros: “He had to come to the museum – a celebrated Mexican, who creates huge murals. He appeared before me in the red velvet jacket and bright patterned scarf. There was something theatrical in his appearance. He was smiling, yet the power and temperament could be felt in that. ‘David Alfaro Siqueiros,” – he introduced, stretching his hand and kissing mine. – “My Aztec grandfather was called Siete Filos (‘seven knife-edges’), and the other granddad was a European intellectual.”

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He liked our museum a lot. “It’s easy to breath and feel here,” – he said. We were walking through Matisse’s gallery. He looked with admiration at one of his paintings, then turned to me and said gloomily: “But art should be for people, not for the aesthetes,” as if he wanted to make it clear that revolutionistic subjects of his huge murals were his civic duty. He said he doesn’t allow himself to be Matisse.

Near Cezanne’s “Pierrot and Harlequin” – he saw it for the first time – he stretched his arms forward with his palms upward, like praying, and muttered : “I don’t believe in God, oh no! But I believe in Cezanne” 

 

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