Artist's Biography - Francisco Zuniga
( December 27, 1912 - August 9, 1998 )
The common people of Mexico and their heroic endurance are the essence and inspiration for Francisco Zuniga's art. He says, "My inclination is toward a vital experience, a curiosity concerning the nature of life." This celebration of the human spirit is most often expressed in sculpture, drawings, and lithographs of women as timeless and stoic earth mothers. Zuniga's women have the startling presence of ancient goddesses disguised in the contemplative situations of daily life and motherhood. They are staunch and monumental females, madonnas with Indian features, solemnly poised and at one with their environment.
Zuniga's work has its roots in both ancient and modern art. As a young boy Zuniga worked for his father, who was a carver of religious statues. He began formal art studies in his native Costa Rica, but in 1935 at the age of 23, left for Mexico, where he has lived ever since. While working as an assistant in several sculpture workshops, he discovered the magic world of pre-Hispanic art at the old Museum of Archeology in Mexico City. This, along with a lifelong interest in such modern European masters as Brancusi, Giacometti and Moore were major influences on his work..
Of his style, Zuniga says, "I do not seek mannerisms, or technical perfection; my style is my own real self." He continues, "I begin with an emotion, an attitude, a movement caught by chance, a woman wrapped in thought - sitting, walking, or perhaps leading a child. Among the folk who surround me I find a variety of movements -slow, elegant, rhythmic - close to an animalistic vitality or an antique grace.".
Long famous in Latin America, Zuniga's art is now being enthusiastically received in the U.S., Germany, Belgium, France, Japan and Switzerland. He is represented in numerous prestigious public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico; the Phoenix Art Museum; Harvard University; Ponce Art Museum, Puerto Rico; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C..
Zuniga is a disciplined artist who shuns the role of "art celebrity" preferring a very private life of work and family. Through geographic isolation and artistic integrity he has remained unswayed by trends, true to his humanistic orientation, Latin American roots and his own unique genius.
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