ARTISTS OF THE MEXICAN HERITAGE
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BELONG TO THIS ELITE?
In 1943 took place the first decree in which all the work of Jose Maria
Velazco enter the category of Historical an Artistic Monument. Then came
another series of decrees in which the work of Jose Clement Orozco, Diego Rivera, Gerardo Murillo Coronado,
David Alfaro Siqueiros, Frida Kahlo, and Saturnino Herrán
enter in the following dates: December 15th, 1959; August 25th, 1964; July 18th, 1980; July 18th, 1984; December 8th, 1988.
It had to happen more than a decade until the 26th December 2001, the Secretary of
Public Education by the agreements 307 and 317. Declare 38 works produced by the exiled Spanish who lived and
die in Mexico (1908-1963) Remdios Varo and Maria Izquierdo.
All these artists are among the Elite of the Modern Mexican
Painting. But what does it mean to belong to it? What is the privilege to
be in this category? If there is any? Who are the beneficiaries if all of
the artists were named after their death?
According to the law the steps to
follow by a private collector when his owns any peace of these artists is
as follows. Once the decree is published in the Official Diary of the
Federation. The Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), will be the
institution in charge to follow up, according to what was established by
the Federal law of of Arqiological zones, Artistic s and Monuments and its
Rules. There is a time frame to register the work.
In Theory Those who do
not register the work are violating the law. However Bellas Artes does not
posses an accurate data. Other problem arises when certain piece is sold and
changes hands, assuming that the collector notified Bellas Artes during the
time frame of the decree; he would have to notify again that the piece does
not belong to him any more, to distance liability. This is something that in
the real life few times occures.
The Data bases is not updated and in most
of the cases obsolete. It is worth to mention the steps to follow to
select an artist to become an artist of the national heritage. A Commission
Board is name its members are selected from:
a) The General Director of the Bellas Artes Institute.
b) A Representative of the Urban development and Ecology Secretary.
c) A Representative of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
d) Three people linked with Art designated by the General Director of Bellas Artes Institute.
In the Cases of Remedios Varo
and Maria Izquierdo it was wise that no all the works were name in the
decree as it ocurre in the work of Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros to name
just a few; not only easel work but graphic work as well. These is a big
mistake because not all the work has the same quality or even worst some
times is undone. In Other cases the argument could be that more than
artistic is a historical document, however some times the topics and the
subjects are aliens to the country.
Now taking a glance at the benefits of
belonging to this category the law of Arqiological Zones and Artist
Monuments in it article 33 mention that no work of a living artist can
enter this category. This is not new in the country nor exclusive in art .
Seldom a tribute is done once someone who has contributed to make bigger the
name of Mexico is done in live. In the specific case of the art market
the work for its sell revalues, however from time to time the owners of
the work in most cases is the family of the artist and they face some of
the padlocks that emerge once they enter this category.
1) The family looks the way to make profits out of trying to sell the pieces that they still
poses. It is very common to find prices way beyond the once the market shows.
2) The possibility of potential clients narrows to those national or
foreigner s living in Mexico. Otherwise the work can only leave the
country with a temporary permit of export. Which is given by the
3) The forgery of the artists arises; as a consequence of its new given status.
Without hesitation is worth to study
the good work that has been done in matters of protecting the artistic work.
As an example to mention is the case of the Torres de Satelite (Mathias
Goeritz, Luis Barragan, Jesus Reyes). But on the other hand it is worth as
well to inspect, what could be done to protect and promote; collecting
the great Mexican Art.
By Ricardo Suarez Haro
The above article reprinted courtesy of:
Ricardo Suarez Haro
Latin American Art Collecting Resource
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