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famous mexican artists

Top 11 Best and Most Famous Mexican Artists You’ll Want to Know

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famous mexican artists today

The list of famous mexican artists is long, but Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are household names.

The contribution they made to art history cannot be underestimated. Their paintings promoted Mexico’s culture abroad and increased Mexico’s reputation as a creative country.

The art these famous artists produced was very different. Some Mexican painters choose huge wall mural projects while others chose to work with lead or copper. They all produced different yet stunning results depending on how they chose to approach their art.

There are many hundreds if not thousands of famous mexican artists today and in the past, but below I’ve listed the most well known in Mexico’s history.

1. Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was born in Coyoacán, Mexico and had complications from polio as well as what was believed to be spina bifida.

She wanted very much to become a doctor growing up but when she suffered an auto accident soon after high school graduation it became clear that this would not happen partly because of her very serious injuries received in the crash. This left her unable to pursue hardly anything else – except her art.

Self-portraits and paintings of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo reveal a deep emotional connection with her culture. In each piece, she captured both beauty as well as hardship from life in Mexico; displaying vivid colors that are often used within the Hispanic community such as a blue palette or earth tones typical among many indigenous people living there.

Some of the most well-known work done by this famous mexican artist shows strong symbolism depicting pain. Frida’s own pain eventually lead to her own death. She was a testament not only to self expression but also human resilience against all odds!

2. Jose Clemente Orozco

Jose Clemente Orozco was born in 1883 to parents who were rural teachers of Mexican descent near Mexico City.

As a young boy he would always walk by the studio where José Guadalupe Posada painted his illustrations for newspapers; this is what inspired 17-year old Clinto’s own dreams about becoming an artist himself one day.


A few years later in the 1920’s he moved to the US and while there had an accident and lost his arm. He was determined to pursue his art even though having only the one arm. While in America he finished several murals, including “The Epic Of American Civilization.”

After returning home from the US in 1934, his popularity grew even more as an admired painter for the Mexican people. They loved what they saw him create on canvas or paper – especially if it had anything do with their culture!

In later years, he contributed to John Steinbeck’s book “The Pearl” by drawing the illustrations. This talented artist’s illustration work featured prominently in this classic book. He passed away in 1949 in Mexico City.

3. Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington was a British-born Mexican Surrealist artist and writer. She is best known for her paintings and stories, which often feature animals and mythical creatures.

Carrington was born in 1917 into a wealthy family in Lancashire, England. Her parents encouraged her to study art, and she began attending the London art school of Chelsea Polytechnic at the age of sixteen.

She soon became friends with a group of Surrealist artists and writers, including Salvador Dali and Max Ernst. In 1937, she met Ernst at a party in London, and the two began a relationship.

Carrington and Ernst moved to Paris together in 1938, but they were soon forced to flee the city when war broke out. They moved to Mexico, where Carrington gave birth to their son, Paulo. The family eventually settled in a small town in Mexico called Xilitla.

While living in Mexico, Carrington began to establish herself as a successful artist. She produced a large number of paintings and drawings, as well as a few short stories. Her work often featured animals and mythical creatures, which she said were inspired by her dreams.

Carrington remained in Mexico until her death in 2011. She was considered a major figure in the Surrealist movement, and her work has been exhibited all over the world.

4. Jose Guadalupe Posada

Jose Guadalupe Posada was a Mexican artist who lived from 1852 to 1913. He is best known for his engravings and illustrations, which often featured political and social commentary.

Posada began his career as an apprentice to a printer in his hometown of Aguascalientes. He eventually moved to Mexico City, where he worked as an illustrator for several newspapers. His work was highly critical of the Mexican government and the upper class, and he was often censored as a result.

Despite this, Posada’s work gained a following among the people of Mexico. He is considered to be one of the fathers of Mexican art, and his influence can be seen in the work of later artists such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

Posada died in 1913, but his work continues to be celebrated and studied today. His images remain a powerful representation of Mexican culture and history.

5. David Alfaro Siqueiros

David Alfaro Siqueiros was a Mexican painter and muralist who was an active member of the Communist Party. He is best known for his large scale murals which often contained elements of social and political commentary.

Siqueiros was born in 1896 in Chihuahua, Mexico and he began his career as an artist in 1916. He later joined the Mexican Mural Movement, a group of artists who sought to use their art to promote social and political change.

Siqueiros was exiled from Mexico in 1926 and he spent several years living in Europe and the United States, where he continued to produce murals. He returned to Mexico in 1934 and remained active in the Communist Party until his death in 1974.

Siqueiros was a prolific artist and he produced hundreds of paintings and murals during his career. Because of his controversial nature and commitment to the Communist Party he remained a controversial figure during his lifetime and his work was often censored by the Mexican government. However, he is now recognized as one of the most important Mexican artists of the twentieth century.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has a comprehensive retrospective of his work, which is available online.

Siqueiros died in 1974 in Cuernavaca, Morelos.

6. Gabriel Orozco

Gabriel Orozco is one of the famous Mexican artists today who is known for his unique approach to art. He often uses everyday objects and materials in his work, which he then transforms into something new and unexpected. Orozco has said that he wants his art to be a “poetic expression of the real world.”

Born in 1962 in Jalisco, Mexico, Orozco first studied mathematics and engineering at university. However, he quickly realized that his true passion was art, and so he began to study painting and sculpture at the INBA in Mexico City. After graduating, Orozco moved to New York City and started to gain recognition for his work.

Orozco’s work often includes a playful element, and he has said that he wants his art to make people “smile or think.” He has also said that he is interested in the “the beauty of the ordinary.”

Indeed, many of Orozco’s works are based on everyday objects such as bicycles, cars, and even toilets. However, by transforming these objects into something new, Orozco allows us to see the world in a different way.

Orozco has exhibited his work all over the world, and his sculptures can be found in some of the most prestigious museums, such as the MoMA in New York and the Tate Modern in London.

He is considered to be one of the most important artists of his generation, and his work is sure to continue to fascinate and inspire people for years to come. He continues to tour the world with his art.

7. Rufino Tamayo

Rufino Tamayo was born on January 26, 1891 in Oaxaca, Mexico. He was a painter and muralist who is considered one of the most important Mexican artists of the 20th century.

After studying art in Europe, Tamayo returned to Mexico in 1921 and began painting scenes of his homeland. He is best known for his use of vivid colors and traditional Mexican subjects.

Tamayo’s work was exhibited internationally and he received many prestigious awards, including the National Prize of Arts and Sciences in Mexico and the Gold Medal of the city of Paris. Tamayo died in 1991 at the age of 100.

8. Maria Izquierdo

Maria Izquierdo was a Mexican painter who is known for her bold and vibrant use of color.

She was born in 1902 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and studied at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda” in Mexico City.

After her studies, she moved to Europe where she was greatly influenced by post-impressionist and Cubist painters. She returned to Mexico in 1929 and began teaching at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda”.

It was during this time that she met Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, who would become lifelong friends. Her work often dealt with Mexican culture and folklore, and she was a pioneer of the Mexican Mural Movement. She died in 1955 at the age of 52.

9. Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera was born on December 8th, 1886, in Guanajuato, Mexico. He was a renowned Mexican painter and muralist who is most celebrated for his large-scale murals which depict Mexican culture and history.

Rivera was heavily influenced by the works of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, and he developed his own unique painting style which is characterized by its bold and vibrant colors.

Rivera was a political activist who was very vocal about his support for the Mexican Revolution. He was also a member of the Communist Party, and this led to him being blacklisted from the United States in the 1940s.

However, he continued to be highly respected as an artist, and he played a significant role in the development of Mexican art.

Rivera was married to fellow artist Frida Kahlo, and the two had a very tumultuous relationship. However, their art still continues to be highly regarded, and they are both considered to be among the most important Mexican artists of the twentieth century.

Rivera died in 1957 at the age of 70. His work has been exhibited all over the world, and he is considered to be one of the most well known of the famous Mexican artists.

10. Joaquin Clausell

Joaquin Clausell is known as the advocate for impressionism in Mexican culture. He was a Mexican landscape artist who was not particularly engrained with other artists during his lifetime.

He had always loved drawing, even though he studied engineering for a short period of time and worked as a journalist. His stories about the Tarahumara people got him put on trial and sent to jail. He eventually escaped from jail and gained French citizenship.

During those years he was not making any artwork until after the 1920s. Joaquin then returned home with an adopted son and new European influences.

Diego Rivera noticed Joaquin’s work, which helped establish him as one of Mexico’s best landscape painters and allowed for more recognition at home.

In 1995 he was recognized by the Mexico National Art Musem painter after being previously overlooked by many renowned museums abroad. Since that time his art has gained more recognition worldwide.

11. Famous Mexican Artists – Fanny Rabel

Fanny Rabinovich was born into a Polish family that later moved to La Paz.

Fanny is identified as the first modern female muralist and one of Mexico’s youngest associated with early-to mid 20th century murals.

She and her family came to Mexico from Europe in 1938 and she studied her art at the Escual Nacional de Pintura where she met the famous mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.

Frida become her mentor and she ended up working as an assistant to Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. She created many murals of her own and other canvas works and predominantly featured children in her art. She died in 2008 in Mexico City.

All these famous mexican artists were incredibly diverse and had something to offer everyone. Whether you’re interested in traditional, contemporary, or modern pieces, there’s a great artist out there waiting to be discovered.

Have you seen any of these artists’ work before? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.

Next: Frida Kahlo Facts: 10 Surprising Things You Need to Know


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