Arnold Belkin was born in Canada in 1930 and soon discovered Mexico’s famed Muralists, “Los Tres Grandes”: Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. His exposure to their work inspired him to move to Mexico. He secured a position in Siqueiros’ studio in 1947 and built professional connections that led to his first mural project, Somos Todos Cupables, and to subsequent commissions in Mexico City. His work reflects the influence of Siqueiros in its strong, contrasting colors and tones and in its sharp outlines. Belkin described scenes of violence, for example in his murals Against Domestic Colonialism and My Lai Massacre in Vietnam. He often deconstructed his images, as seen in the abstracted, geometric colors of Simón Bolivar, a portrait of the leader – “The Liberator” – who fought for the independence of Latin America. Belkin’s Communication closely mirrors Rivera’s The Communicating Vessels (1938) in its surreal, cross-sectional portrayal of the movement of thought and blood.

Text credit: Produced in collaboration with the University of Maryland Department of Art History & Archaeology


  • Title: Simón Bolivar
  • Creator: Arnold Belkin
  • Date Created: 1983
  • Location Created: Canada
  • Physical Dimensions: 26 x 22 in
  • Medium: Lithograph

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