David Alfaro Siqueiros was born on December 29, 1896 in Chihuahua. Siqueiros is known for his fresco murals and being a part of both political and social movements.
Early on David was exposed to political ideas and rebellion. While at the Academy of San Carolos of the National Academy of Fine Arts, he and other students were involved in a strike protesting the teaching methods that the school used. The strike worked and the school started an “open-air academy.” Siqueiros traveled around Mexico while in the army. While traveling he was exposed to Mexican culture and the struggle of the economically disadvantaged and working class.
In his manifesto, Siqueiros called for artists to return to classical painting while including modern aspects. He encouraged others to make meaningful art. In 1922, he returned to Mexico City and began working as a muralist as part of the Secretary of Public Education’s push for art education by having murals painted on public buildings in Mexico City. In 1i923, Siqueiros helped with the creation of the Syndicate of Revolutionary Mexican Painters, Sculptors and Engravers with the goal of educating the people.
Siqueiros did some painting in the United States. He wanted his murals to be able to “conform to the normal transit of a spectator.” He did this by tracing figures with a projector, using photography to help him sketch, and using new paint and spray guns. In 1940, he tried to assassinate Leon Trotsky. The plan backfired and Siqueiros was forced into hiding. He eventually was able to paint in public spaces again and continued his art until he was arrested in 1960 for speaking out against the President of Mexico, but the charges were eventually proved to be false. Siqueiros painted many murals through his life, but he is most known for Portrait of the Bourgeoisie and The March of Humanity.