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Alejandro Romero: 1948—: Painter and Muralist

Worked In Muralist's Workshop

Romero enrolled in 1967 at Mexico City's Academy of San Carlos, where his mother had studied before him. In his four years at San Carlos, Romero came into contact with many of the giants of Mexican art—Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and Juan O'Gorman, among others. The greatest impact came from the politically radical muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, in whose workshop Romero studied in 1969 and 1970. Romero told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he was merely "an assistant to an assistant" to Siqueiros, but he had already met that master of Mexican social realism when he was six years old—Siqueiros patronized a pharmacy owned by Romero's maternal grandmother.

In the early 1970s Romero worked for an advertising agency, did freelance photography work, immersed himself in music, and took short art courses when he could; he studied in Paris, at the Art School of Vincennes, the Artists' Collective in Taos, New Mexico, and the Art Institute of Chicago. His move to Chicago at the end of 1975 was motivated by a search for professional opportunities akin to those of the thousands of other Mexicans who came northward; the number of artists making a living off their works in Mexico was and remains low.

Living in the United States, however, led Romero to rededicate himself to his cultural roots. "In Mexico the spirit of the culture is being eroded," he told Hispanic. "Through art, I help to preserve the most important elements of my culture." Romero settled in the Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago's near South Side, long the nerve center of the city's Mexican community. His presence there helped stimulate the opening of an art gallery and later Chicago's only museum devoted to Latin American art.

At a Glance . . .

Born near Veracruz, Mexico, in 1948; grew up in Mexico City. Education: Studied art at Academy of San Carlos, Mexico City, 1967-71; also studied at Art School of Vincennes, the Artists' Collective in Taos, New Mexico, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Religion: Roman Catholic.

Career: Worked for advertising agency and as freelance photographer, early 1970s; moved to Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, 1975; created first of more than 75 event posters shown in Chicago area, 1979; numerous group and individual exhibitions of paintings, 1980s and 1990s; works shown in Canada, England, Japan, and the former Yugoslavia in 1985 alone; active as muralist, 1980s–; sculpture of Virgin of Guadalupe installed, S. 9th and Washington streets, Milwaukee, WI, 2000.

Addresses: Gallery—Ro Gallery, 47-15 36th St., Long Island City, NY 11101; Gallery website—http://www.rogallery.com.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr BiographyAlejandro Romero: 1948—: Painter and Muralist Biography - Worked In Muralist's Workshop, Created Posters, Influenced By European Expressionists