Monday, May 4, 2015

Jose Clemente Orozco

Casa de los Azulejos, Mexico city, Mexico

Jose Clemente Orozco (1883-1949) was a Mexican painter, who specialized in bold murals that established the Mexican Mural Renaissance together with murals by Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. With Diego Rivera, he was a leader of the artist movement known as Mexican Muralism. An important distinction he had from Rivera was his critical view of the Mexican Revolution. While Rivera was a bold, optimistic figure, touting the glory of the revolution, Orozco was less comfortable with the bloody toll the social movement was taking.

He was known for being a politically committed artist. He promoted the political causes of peasants and workers. His life is a tale of tragedy, adversity and outstanding achievement. When he was still a young boy, his parents moved to Mexico City in hopes of making a better life for their three children. His father was a businessman, and his mother worked as a homemaker and sometimes sang for extra income. Despite his parents’ efforts, they often lived on the edge of poverty. The Mexican Revolution was heating up, and being a highly sensitive child, he began noticing the many hardships people around him faced. He was fond of the theme of human suffering, but less realistic and more fascinated by machines than Rivera.