Arturo Garcia Bustos Biography

Arturo Garcia Bustos




Painter and printmaker Arturo Garcia Bustos was born on August 8, 1926 in Mexico City.  The cultural and political environment of Mexico fascinated the youthful Bustos (as he was called by friends and family) and motivated his artistic development. In 1941, when he was barely 15, he entered the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas; upon graduation in 1943 he entered the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura ("La Esmeralada") where among his teachers were Frida Kahlo, Feliciano Peña and Maria Izquierdo.

In 1945 he was one of the four students who followed Frida Kahlo to Coyoacan (these students became known as "los Fridos"),  where he entered the Taller de Grafica Popular (TGP) and participated in the founding of the group "Artistas Jóvenes Revolucionarios." In 1957, to further his studies in printmaking, he traveled to North Korea and China to study Eastern printmaking techniques; one of his teachers was the artist Wan Jon Ja in Pyongyang. Upon his return he continued to work at the TGP, where he met Guatemalan artist Rina Lazo, who was an assistant of Diego Rivera. They would later marry, and would remain together for over 60 years, sharing the "Casa de la Malinche" where they both worked in printmaking and painting. 

In 1953, Bustos and Rina traveled to Rina's homeland in Guatemala, where Bustos held an important workshop on engraving. These works are still exhibited in Guatemala. From then, he had a second career as a teacher and lecturer, teaching engraving at Escuela de Bellas Artes in Guatemala City; teaching fine arts at Benito Juarez Autonomous University in Oaxaca; teaching drawing and painting workshops at Casa del Lago in Chapultpec; and as an art history lecturer with a focus on Mexican lithography at state universities in Oaxaca and Sinaloa. He and Rina both taught abroad, with workshops on mural painting and Mexican art in Germany and Italy. Among the last courses they taught was in June of 1999, when Rina and Bustos conducted a masters class in Italy in muralism.

Today, Arturo García Bustos is recognized as one of the greatest Mexican artists of the 20th century. His murals can be seen in the Oaxaca room of the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico, the metro station at the UNAM, the stairways of the Municipal Palace in Oaxaca, to mention only a few. 

On March 29, 2005, a collection consisting of eleven of his paintings was exhibited at the Museo Mural Diego Rivera of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, in Mexico City.