More about Francisco Zúñiga


Zúñiga may have been the best-loved artist ever. His mom and dad were sculptors and little Francisco quickly followed in their footsteps.

His father provided saints and angels to local clients and churches but little Francisco, after learning what he could from su padre, had his own ideas. (He must have learnt something from his mom as well, but I couldn’t find any record of this.) 

My theory is that only exceptionally well-loved kids can produce the kind of tender mother-and-child paintings and sculptures that Zúñiga made. People in the know regarding Latin American art say that maternal affection/tenderness was his primary inspiration.

He was completely into women, every inch of them. But unlike Egon Schiele and some others, Zúñiga’s women are, to quote an expert, "anatomically generous, ample and pleasant." Where Schiele’s women are boney pale teens and young women, often laying back with legs parted wide like a kind of horror erotica, Zúñiga saw women as earthy full-volumed heroes and mothers.

In fairness to Schiele, he was in frosty Austria and mentored by Vienna's Gustav Klimt, while Zúñiga spent most of his time in Mexico and a lot of time looking around at solid barefooted native-American women. The raw material was therefore a little different.

There's a neat bio-video called Francisco Zuniga: A Centennial Tribute.


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Here is what Wikipedia says about Francisco Zúñiga

José Jesús Francisco Zúñiga Chavarría (December 27, 1912 – August 9, 1998) was a Costa Rican-born Mexican artist, known both for his painting and his sculpture. Journalist Fernando González Gortázar lists Zúñiga as one of the 100 most notable Mexicans of the 20th century, while the Encyclopædia Britannica calls him "perhaps the best sculptor" of the Mexican political modern style.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Francisco Zúñiga