A prominent Mexican artist’s provocative mural, which was censored in 1932, remains on public display on Olvera Street

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Friday, November 3, 2023, 4:56 a.m

Provocative mural that was censored in 1932 remains open to the public

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES, CA – In 1932, David Alfaro Siqueiros, a well-known Mexican muralist, was commissioned to paint a mural on Olvera Street, the birthplace of Los Angeles. The “America Tropical” mural was intended to depict a romanticized view of tropical America with lush forests and fruit trees in time for the Olympics, which were held in Los Angeles that year.

However, the night before the mural’s unveiling, Siqueiros added a crucified indigenous person to the center of the painting as an anti-imperialist statement.

“It was later whitewashed,” said Antonio Chavez, general manager of the El Pueblo Historical Monument, which oversees Olvera Street. “Around 2012, there was an initiative by Getty and then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to put this together, and they wanted to preserve the mural.”

The America Tropical Interpretive Center is dedicated to the life and legacy of David Alfaro Siqueiros. His mural “America Tropical” continues to have a profound influence on the Chicano muralist movement in Los Angeles. The messages he conveyed through his provocative art have touched people around the world.

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James Brien

James Brien is a WSTNewsPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined WSTNewsPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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