Los Tres Grandes
The “los tres grandes” were three Mexican artists who were considered leaders in mural painting in the 1920s, the time of the Mexican Mural Movement. Among the many artists that the Mexican government hired to paint the murals, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera came out on top.
The mural movement was encouraged and supported by the Mexican government to impress on the people the country’s history and ideology. It was a vehicle for political and social reforms in Mexico. Artists were commissioned to create murals in public buildings, like schools, highlighting Mexico’s national identity and its past. The movement did not stay in Mexico but spread in the United States, where the murals evolved to relate how Mexicans fared in the country. Some murals showed American exploitation of the Mexican immigrants. The murals were highly successful and caught the interests of the media and other ethnic groups. Other Latin-Americans, Asian-Americans, and African-Americans were inspired to create their own murals to depict their own histories, identities, experiences and struggles in a country that was hostile to many immigrant workers and their families.
Seeing the success of the murals created by the Mexican artist, other ethnic groups turned to this art form to express their own identity and sentiments. The African Americans were the among the firsts to be influenced by the Mexican Mural Movement. Among the ethnic artists greatly influenced by the los tres grandes are African-American Elliott Pinkney and Richard Wyatt who were instrumental in relating the Black experiences in California. These artists created murals whose general themes were African Americans’ pride in their own culture and color. They also depicted in murals the need for different cultures to respect each other’s uniqueness.
Gomez-Malaga, M.C. (2008). The Mexican and Chicano Mural Movement. Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Retrieved October 4, 2008, from http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2006/2/06.02.01.x.html#b
Wyels, J.G. (2000). Great Walls, Vibrant Voices. The Social and Public Art Resource Center. Retrived October 4, 2008, from