Jose Clemente Orozco

Alternative Name(s): -
Date of Birth: November 23, 1883
Place of Birth: Ciudad Guzman, Jalisco, Mexico
Date of Death: September 7, 1949
Focus: Painter, Illustrator, Muralist
Art movement: Social Realism
Nationality: Mexican

Famous Jose Clemente Orozco Artwork

Jose Clemente Orozco Biography

“The revival of Mexican Mural Painting during the 1920s owes much to José Clemente Orozco. His realistic and impressive painted frescoes can be found in Europe and the United States, many at major institutions.

Born to a family close to poverty, his early life was marked with the beginnings of the Mexican Revolution. Living in Mexico City, he would often pass the studio and open window of José Guadalupe Posada, a cartoonist known for his political paintings. Intrigued, the idea of art as a means of political revolt became evident.

He began taking classes at the San Carlos Academy and helped his mother, after his father’s death, by earning money painting and coloring portraits of the dead.
With an accident that resulted in the loss of his entire left hand, he was also surrounded by the strife of the Mexican Revolution. Still painting but turning to caricatures and then painting dolls for a living, it was not until 1922 that he began his career as a mural painter.

Mexico’s new revolutionary government needed murals for a literacy campaign to broadcast their message; although he did this for a short time, his reputation began to grow, and he became known as a “”Mexican Muralist,”" along with contemporaries Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. His work was filled with images of the struggling working class and peasants, focusing on their suffering.

He traveled to the U.S. and painted murals for the New School for Social Research, Dartmouth College and The Museum of Modern Art. He also painted murals in the Government Palace and in Guadalajara’s Hospicio Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”