Mexican Influence on Chicano Muralist

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During the pinnacle of the mural movement in Mexico, muralists such as Rivera and Siqueiros were invited to paint murals in the United States. The arrival of these two giants in the United States inspired both their American counterparts in the 1930's and later Chicano painters in the 1970's and 80's. Art work such as America Tropical created by Siqueiros in LA greatly influenced the Chicano style. The mural displayed an Indian peon representing oppression by United State imperialism who 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. Although the piece remained visible for only about a year, the politically charged statement against American imperialism remained in peoples mind for many years to come. The possible reason it tool until the 70's for the Chicano mural movement to develop is because the political seed Siqueiros planted remained dormant until it was sparked by the Civil Rights movement. [explain ideologies of Chicano movement] When murals began appearing in urban neighborhoods across the nation during the Chicano movement, America Tropical acquired its most far reaching significance by becoming their predecessor and prototype. The increased ethnic awareness that developed during the Chicano movement brought a surge of mural painting in cities with politically active Mexican American populations, especially in California. These murals arose out of a need to convey the spirit of this emerging movement. Chicanos viewed their work both as inspired by and as a departure from Mexican muralism, and although Chicanos recognized continuality between Mexican work and their own, it was important for them to tell the experience of Mexicans living within the United States. Indigenous Imagery

There are many themes and images that are shared between the Mexican...
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