David Alfaro Siqueiros, a Mexican painter and muralist, created a self-portrait lithograph in 1936-37. Siqueiros was known for his Marxist political ideology and his role as one of the founders of the modern school of Mexican mural painting. The Self-portrait reflects his experience as a muralist and possibly the view he took of the importance of his work.
In addition to being a painter, Siqueiros was also interested in developing new techniques for creating art. He used direct painting with quick-drying industrial materials and spray guns on cement. He even developed escultopintera, which is a unique combination of sculpting and painting that he used in several of his works. Siqueiros was also the subject of several exhibitions at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions.
Siqueiros’ self-portraits are an excellent representation of his body of work, highlighting both his artistic style and important cultural messages contained within it. Another example is Self-Portrait (El Coronelazo), 1945, where he shows himself wearing rolled-up sleeves holding brushes with one hand while cradling a weapon in another – speaking to both aspects defining him as an artist – pacifist yet political activist.. His self-portraits capture not just himself but also provide insight into how he saw society and politics during that era in Mexico.