September 29, 2012 |
"America Tropical" must be Los Angeles' most famous invisible artwork. Born in drama and buried in anger, Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros' monumental mural on Olvera Street has been a cause célèbre for decades. Siqueiros was commissioned to paint the 18-by-80-foot fresco in 1932 as a decoration for a rooftop beer garden, but it disappeared behind whitewash amid a controversy over its central image: a Mexican Indian lashed to a double cross with an American eagle proudly perched above him, wings spread.
September 12, 2010 |
David Alfaro Siqueiros is a giant of art and political activism in Mexico, where he was born in 1896 and spent most of his 78 years. His encounter with Los Angeles was brief — about seven months in 1932 — but it still reverberates in efforts to preserve "América Tropical," an incendiary mural on Olvera Street that was painted over soon after he finished it, and in the work of contemporary Chicano artists. And now, in a serendipitous convergence of events, Siqueiros is having his biggest Southern California moment in decades: • Construction of the mural's shelter, viewing platform and interpretive center began last week at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and is expected to take about two years.
January 9, 2005 |
A stocky fellow with an open shirt baring his powerful chest stands on a makeshift podium, raising a fist and extending a hand as he appeals to his ragtag audience. A black man, transfixed by the soapbox orator, stands to one side cradling a child in his arms. A downtrodden white woman, also holding a child, watches from the other side. Above the speaker, dark-skinned laborers crouch on scaffolding and hang over the edge of a roof as they devour every last word of the message.
October 9, 2004 |
In Hollywood, he could be mistaken for one of the crowd, just another would-be filmmaker with a script under his arm and a hand out for the money to make it. But David Siqueiros has assets nobody else can claim -- the same surname as world-renowned painter David Alfaro Siqueiros and a private collection of works by the artist who spearheaded Mexico's 20th century mural movement. Plus, the aspiring producer has a nonchalant willingness to convert his rare collection into cash.
November 22, 1998 |
Getty Conservation Institute Director Miguel Angel Corzo predicted, in a recent interview, that by the end of the year funding will finally be in place for a long-delayed venture: The $3.5-million conservation of "America Tropical," the controversial Olvera Street mural that was created in 1932 by celebrated Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros.
April 6, 1997 |
Lots of artists work hard to make their art look easy, but David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) wasn't one of them. Instead, he worked to make his art look hard. A compelling new exhibition shows there was inspired method to this seeming madness. To discover what it was, go directly to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. There, "Portrait of a Decade: David Alfaro Siqueiros, 1930-1940" focuses on one of the most politically turbulent periods in the Mexican painter's storied life.