Today in the Americas, Oswaldo Guayasamin

Oswaldo Guayasamín
Today marks the 10th anniversary of Oswaldo Guayasamin’s death in Quito, Ecuador. To be honest, I did not know much of the man prior to deciding to dedicate a portion of “Today in Latin America” to him. In the spirit of Sebastião Salgado, I will keep the words short and let the pictures speak.

Guayasamin was born in Quito, Ecuador on July 6, 1919. He graduated the School of Fine Arts in his hometown as a painter and sculptor. He held his first exhibition in 1942, when he was only 23 years old. In 1948 he won first prize in the Ecuadorian Salón Nacional de Acuarelistas y Dibujantes . In 1952, he won first prize at the Third Hispano-American Biennial of Art in Spain at the age of 36.

Guayasamin has touched me because of his paintings of reality, which means poverty and inequality in Latin America. One of his most famous, and controversial murals (below) features men in Nazi helmets with the words “CIA” on them. He spent much of the end of his life railing against what he found intolerable about the world. His death a decade ago was marked by indigenous strikes in support for Guayasamin’s life, which he dedicated great portions of to the poor of Ecuador.

Los Ninos Muertos

Los Ninos Muertos

<em>La Capilla del Hombre</em> (The Chapel of Man), completed in 2002, three years after his death, continues to be a testament to his beliefs

La Capilla del Hombre (The Chapel of Man), completed in 2002, three years after his death, continues to be a testament to his beliefs

Madre y niño

Madre y niño




Equivocos de la Fama

The Age of Wrath

The Age of Wrath


~ by Daniel on March 10, 2009.

3 Responses to “Today in the Americas, Oswaldo Guayasamin”

  1. I visited the Guayasamin museum in Quito in 2001and was very impressed. It was his huge ‘hands’ series which touched me most.

  2. I picked up a print at Goodwill for $3.00 and was completely taken by the haunting eyes in the picture. The picture is CABEZA DE NINA TRISTE, which I have not seen on the web yet. It is a keeper to cherrish!

  3. This man is one of the best painters I’ve seen in a while he had true talent

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