|David Alfaro Siqueiros Gallery
|David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974)
Siqueiros was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. He portrayed Mexico's history and economic conditions in visually bold political terms inspired by class struggle. He was expelled from Mexico and came to Los Angeles and returned to Mexico. His dramatic murals remain in public display in California and Mexico.
Tropical America is Siqueiros's first outdoor mural and the first large scale mural in the United States that created a public space by being painted on an ordinary exterior wall.
As the central visual and symbolic focus of the piece, an Indian peon representing oppression by United State imperialism is crucified on a double cross capped by an American eagle. A Mayan pyramid in the background is overrun by vegetation, while an armed Peruvian peasant and a Mexican campesino sit on a wall in the upper right corner, ready to defend themselves.
So emotionally charged was this allegorical imagery that within six months, a section of the mural visible from Olvera Street was painted out. Within a year, the work was completely covered. Virtually forgotten for years, the mural was rediscovered in the late 1960s when the whitewash began to peel off.
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