Jose Clemente Orozco Mexican, 1883-1949


Alongside Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco was one of the major muralists of the Mexican Revolution. In spite of losing his left hand and sight in one eye, Orozco persisted in his artistic career, though not without a biting sense of humor and critical eye. Like Rivera and Siqueiros, Orozco studied at the San Carlos Academy for Fine Arts in Mexico City, and painted everyday subjects in a realist style. He studied with Gerardo Murillo, a radical who encouraged his students to reject European influences and embrace Mexican traditions. Bolstered by this, Orozco became increasingly involved with social and political activism through his art. He made easel paintings and caricatures for a radical paper, but his public works would become his greatest legacy—grand murals throughout North America, depicting allegorical scenes of history, uprising, industry, and suffering.