Muralist Anguiano artwork celebrated at VPAM

By Maria Isidoro

The Mexican muralist Raúl Anguiano, was honored for his art collection with about 50 paintings and drawings in a slideshow last Thursday at Ingalls Auditorium.

As part of the second generation of Mexican muralists, East Los Angeles College commemorated Anguiano’s 70-square foot mural that was painted in 70 days, illustrating a biography of Mexican artwork throughout the years from influential artists.

The mural was installed in 2002 as part of Anguiano’s permanent collection.

With support from private donors, the event had a great turnout at the opening with more than 60 guests, including Anguiano’s wife Brigita.

Brigita supported the event by signing books of Anguiano’s art collection, which include his paintings and art designs, worth $60.

Brigita said that she was very happy to see that Anguiano’s mural was being honored at ELAC.

“I know that he painted this mural with a lot of love. He had four student assistants and he enjoyed doing his work,” Brigita said.

She said that Anguiano’s work would inspire students to get to know the most recognizable artists of Mexico, such as Diego Rivera.

Visually and orally, the audience was transported to the greatest years of Anguiano’s life with the glories and injustices of life in Mexico.

Anguiano excelled at portraying his work with ideas that reflected indigenous groups in Mexico from the forest regions of Lacandon Maya. This provided him a new vision in his artwork.

Anguiano created a variety of artwork displaying the inequalities of the economy of his country as well as portraying the supportive mother that he had in his childhood.

Anguiano’s work involves paintings of the prostitution of women, anticlerical themes and antifascist drawings of Mexico.

Most striking about his work is the way in which Anguiano introduces some of his nightmares in his paintings as part of a surrealist form.

During the slideshow, one of Anguiano’s paintings showed him killing his brother and throwing him into a dark hole with a hand extending in the short distance.

Anguiano started painting at age five when one of his professors in elementary school said he could use his work for greater causes.

He is the last Mexican muralist who is an internationally known artist with his work reproduced in several countries, such as Mexico and the United States. Anguiano painted until he was 87.

The most famous painting is “La Espina,” meaning “the thorn,” which portrays a Mayan woman digging a thorn out of her foot with a knife.

Anguiano was born in 1915 during the Mexican Revolution. He died in 2006 at age 90.

As an expert on Mexican and Latin American art and culture, Gregorio Luke provided information discussing Anguiano’s work during the slideshow.

In celebration of the centennial event honoring Anguiano, the images projected onto the screen will be donated by Luke to ELAC’s Library.

“Today was an opportunity for us to highlight the (mural), to let (people) know and now they’ll spread the word that we have this incredible treasure here,” Martinez said.

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