David Alfaro Siqueiros
Dec 29, 1896 – Jan 6, 1974
David Alfaro Siqueiros was a Mexican social realist painter, better known for his large murals in fresco. Along with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, he established “Mexican Muralism.” He was a Stalinist and member of the Mexican Communist Party who participated in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Leon Trotsky in May 1940.
His surname would normally be Alfaro by Spanish naming customs; like Picasso and Lorca, Siqueiros used his mother’s surname. It was long believed that he was born in Camargo in Chihuahua state, but in 2003 it was proven that he had actually been born in the city of Chihuahua, but grew up in Irapuato, Guanajuato, at least from the age of six. The discovery of his birth certificate in 2003 by a Mexican art curator was announced the following year by art critic Raquel Tibol, who was renowned as the leading authority on Mexican Muralism and who had been a close acquaintance of Siqueiros. Siqueiros changed his given name to “David” after his first wife called him by it in allusion to Michelangelo’s David. Another factual confusion is the year of his birth: he was born in 1896, but many sources state 1898 or 1899.