Siqueiros in Jail

The Big Idea:

How does an artist's point of view affect both the intended and perceived meanings of his or her art?

Activity overview

David Alfaro Siqueiros was a painter whose radical work with revolutionaries and labor organizers in Mexico got him sent to jail several times around 1930. While incarcerated he painted a series of artworks depicting life inside and outside prison. In this activity you will bring these artworks to life by role-playing scenarios based on Siqueiros's ideas and actions.

Look closely

Click on each artist button at right to view detailed screens about the artist and his or her works. Be sure to click on all images, view all videos, read all documents, and use the zoom tool to look closely at the works of art.

In this activity you will:

  1. learn about the artist David Alfaro Siqueiros
  2. imagine a scenario in which Diego Rivera visits him in jail
  3. role-play with your class and discuss various possible outcomes
  4. reflect on the issues

You will be graded on:

  1. research notes from Making Sense of Modern Art
  2. participation and leadership in role-playing
  3. group discussion
  4. written reflection

New terms:

revolutionary, manifesto, cultural context