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Alejandro Romero: 1948—: Painter and Muralist

Influenced By European Expressionists

Exhibiting in the public form of the mural has not lessened the demand for Romero's paintings, which sell in the $9,000 range. Often large in format, they are notable for the range of themes they address, his instantly recognizable overall style marked by bright colors, and the use of every inch of the canvas to pack in figures and details that complement the main subject. Romero has linked his style to that of the Expressionist movement in early 20th-century Europe, an artistic development that prized emotion and sheer intensity of experience. "Expressionism is exalting reality and taking it one step beyond," Romero told Hispanic.

Some of his paintings depict Mexican or Mexican-American musicians in a way reminiscent of the classic African-American artists who evoked the world of jazz; other works with musical themes, such as a poster created for Pilsen's Fiesta del Sol, treat musicians more abstractly, as part of a complex of cultural forces. Many of Romero's works reinterpret well-known themes of Western culture: Greek myth or Christian images. One painting of the Minotaur, the bull-human hybrid of Greek legend pursued by Theseus the hunter, was exhibited at the Pilsen neighborhood's Prospectus gallery in 1995. Romero told the Chicago Sun-Times that he considered the man-bull the hero of the myth, striving to escape the shackles of the so-called civilized world.

Romero's works are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Latin American Art in Washington, D.C., and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, among other major institutions. In the year 2000 he executed a sculptural commission for a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, street corner: a life-size image of the Virgin of Guadalupe with a sheet of steel for the radiant aura that traditionally surrounds the Virgin in visual representations. The work seemed to strike off in new directions, but, as he told Hispanic a decade earlier, his work was in constant development. "The opportunity to freely express myself every day of my life is a great privilege," he said. "I've never regretted it. There is always the pleasure of seeing the continuation and evolution of my work."



Chicago Sun-Times, November 10, 1995, p. 31.

Hispanic, August 1989, p. 11.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, September 30, 1998, p. Cue-2; September 17, 2000, p. B3.

Wisconsin State Journal, November 1, 1992, p. H2.

—James M. Manheim

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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