There are some pieces of art that are created out of the love of pure creation of a work. Then there are some that are born out of the love (or hate) for mankind, the world around the artist, or sometimes their own humanity. The piece I found to share in this post actually does a little of both, as the painting and its motivations are as unique as the painter himself.
This is Peasant Mother, created by David Alfaro Siqueiros in 1929, with oil on burlap. Siqueiros was born in Chihuahua City in 1896 and by as early as his fifteenth birthday, he was already involved in political activism (Tuck The Artist). Siqueiros dedicated a vast majority of his life to being outspoken towards the Mexican government, to the point that he was ultimately persuaded to leave the country for the United States, as the government had had enough of his political activities (Mataev David Alfaro). His banishment from Mexico City fired the artistic passion of Siqueiros and he ended up creating several hundred pieces of work that were politically-inspired, including Peasant Mother.
I don’t know what drew me to the painting exactly. Learning about its history, as well as the author’s, intrigued me and gave me an all-around new appreciation for not only this piece, but many of Siqueiros other pieces, which you can browse through at Olga’s Gallery. I like the colors, the tones, contrast and the atmosphere of the painting. But at first glance, you really may not be blown away by it. Give it sometime, maybe read up more about Siqueiros, and all of a sudden you get a sort of warm, but solemn feeling filling you that you can’t describe. At least, that’s what I experienced. How does it make you feel?
Mataev, Yuri. David Alfaro Siqueiros. Olga’s Gallery. Abcgallery.com. 7 Apr 2011. Web. 26 Apr 2011.
Tuck, Jim. The Artist as Activist: David Alfaro Siqueiros. Mexconnect. 9 Oct 2008. Web. 22 Apr. 2011.