Francisco Toledo, Dead at 79

francisco toledo

Mr. Toledo in 2015 at an exhibition at the Zapata subway station in Mexico City. His paintings, drawings, prints, collages, tapestries and ceramics were largely inspired by his indigenous Zapotec heritage. Credit Alfredo Estrella/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.

“The man himself is elusive,” [Paul] Theroux noted. “He hides from journalists, he hates to be photographed, he seldom gives interviews, he no longer attends his own openings, but instead sends his wife and daughter to preside over them, while he stays in his studio, unwilling to speak — a great example of how writers and artists should respond — letting his work speak for him, with greater eloquence.”

(Jonathan Kandell, “Francisco Toledo, Celebrated Mexican Artist and Arts Philanthropist, Dies at 79,” NYTimes, 9-7-19)

The work should speak for the artist, yes. But there’s room also for the occasional artist who also talks.

francisco toledo2

“Pensando — Autorretrato” (“Thinking — Self Portrait”), 1985 (Watercolor with pen and black ink). Francisco Toledo, via Princeton University Art Museum.

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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