Orozco–Mexican Muralist

Posted September 28th, 2007 by Anthony

Another one! Disabled artists are everywhere. Our local PBS station aired a documentary, “Man on Fire,” about Jose Clemente Orozco. He was a muralist and contemporary and rival to Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo’s husband. Towards the end of his life he became more famous than Diego.

The interesting aspect is how his disability affected his life. According to the video, the loss of his hand, “freed him to follow his art.” It was explained, not as the inspirational tale of an overcomer, but as an explanation of the path he took.

I find it interesting that more and more media thoughtfully highlights disability. It’s not always from an insiders perspective or with the best language, but like “Man on Fire” one aspect of the person’s life without tragedy or drama.

Finally, it was explained that he was somewhat of a misanthrope, not, thankfully, because of his disability. Interestingly, and very much like myself and some of my disabled colleagues, as Orozco became more famous and gained more recognition he mellowed and became happier. Ah, the curse and craving of recognition dogs us as it does other marginalized groups as we fight for visibility in society.

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