Do you know that the 1st mural in Los Angeles was hidden for 80 years in EL Pueblo? In addition, to being the heart of historic Los Angeles, El Pueblo is an open art museum. Let’s explore three of the Mexican Artworks conveying historical, social, political and cultural messages.
“El Grito” (The Cry) mural by Edward Carrillo, the commemoration of the Mexican revolt
Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, also known as Father Hidalgo, rang the bell in the little village of Dolores (Mexico) on September 16, 1810. During the mass, he inspired and encouraged people to revolt against Spain with his famous speech “El Grito de Dolores” (Cry of Dolores). Leading the revolt, his army marched to Mexico City initiating Mexican independence in 1821.
“El Grito” (The Cry) mural commemorates this historic event in addition to the replica of the bell offered by the Mexican government to Los Angeles in 1968. Indeed, the control of Los Angeles was no longer under Spain but Mexico.
“América Tropical” by David Alfaro Siqueiros, the controversy painting
In 1932, David Alfaro Siqueiros was commissioned by the Plaza Art Center to spotlight El Pueblo as a pleasant area. Instead, the Mexican artist sent a strong political message against American imperialism over Latin America. Actually, the large painting, 80 x 18 feet, depicted an American eagle above a Mexican Indian crucified on a cross. Political references are numerous as the Mayan pyramid or the leafless three.
Because of political pressure and controversy, this mural was rapidly painted out. Slowly it faded from the artistry scene. Fortunately, the history doesn’t end here. In the late 60’s, the wall started to peel off revealing this hidden treasure. This started the recognition, preservation, and documentation of the mural. Today, the América Tropical Interpretive Center provides highlights, photos, and explanations regarding “América Tropical.”
Antonio Aguilar Statue, the Mexican Star in Hollywood
The bronze statue portrays Antonio Aguilar, Mexican actor, singer, songwriter, producer, and equestrian. “El Charo de Mexico” (Mexico’s horseman) started his acting career in Mexico in 1952 during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. He recorded more than 150 albums and performed in more than 100 movies. He acted in many American Western movies like “The Undefeated” along with John Wayne.
This homage is situated in El Pueblo where his success reportedly began. He also has been honored with a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
Which art described below is your favorite? Share in comments!
- Location: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, 125 Paseo De La Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Cost: Free
- Duration: I spent 1 hour.
- Parking: public parking (up to $15 per day), street parking or metro (Union Station).
- More information available at http://elpueblo.lacity.org/
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