Artist of the moment…….Jose Clemente Orozco

Jose Clemente Orozco was born in the year 1883 in Zapotlan el Grande, a small city in the Jalisco region of Mexico. His father was a businessman and his mother occasionally sang for money. His parents worked hard to support him and two other siblings, but the family was on the poverty line. It was difficult time for much of the country, in the midst of the Mexican Revolution. Whilst he was young he was able to view the famous Mexican artist Jose Posada at work. This provided a never ended source of fuel for the man who wanted to become an artist.

He was originally in school to study agriculture, but gave this  up after his father died and began taking art lessons. Like many other artists from the this region Orozco attended the San Carlos Academy of Fine Art.

In order to help earn some money for his family after his father died, Orozco took many odd jobs including hand coloring portraits of people that had passed. He was also able to find employment as a draftsman for an architecture firm.

This is when tragedy struck the artist at this time. Orozco was making some home made fireworks to help celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. Something went wrong and a chemical explosion occurred. It was during the national holiday so he was unable to see a doctor immediately. By the time he got to the doctor his hand was so infected they had to amputate the hand.

He would work various smaller jobs in the art world including as a caricature artist and even painting dolls to help pay the bills.

Along with George Sisquerios and Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozc was among the most well known Mexican artists renown for their mural paintings.

In this clip from PBS we view a brief documentary about Jose Orozco:

Some wonderful footage here! We get to see some of the many murals painted by Orozco, not in a museum, but on the sides of buildings out in the open as they were painted decades ago:

Orozco illustrated the book titled “The Pearl” which was written by John Steinbeck.

Jose Orozco passed away in 1949.

What a multi-talented artist with an incredible life story.



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