In a conservative and sexism society, Aurora Reyes dared to break the rules and challenge gender stereotypes
Many do not remember Aurora Reyes Flores, that rebellious artist who until the day of her death lived up to her motto: "I am completely primitive and savage. I love freedom above all." Daughter of the Mexican Revolution, Aurora was that painter, poet, teacher, and activist of free and indomitable spirit who always fought for her ideals and never stood still.
She was born on September 9, 1908, in Chihuahua, in a Porfirian family, but she was a revolutionary. Like Frida Kahlo, her friend since she was 13, Aurora was one of the women who dared to break the rules and challenge gender stereotypes in a conservative and macho society. Aurora Reyes was a woman ahead of her time, who stood out both for her artistic work and for her social activism, something that often went hand in hand.
Aurora is considered by many, even by herself, the first female representative of Mexican muralism. According to Margarita Aguilar Urbán in her text entitled "The murals of Aurora Reyes: a general review", published in the UNAM magazine, "the artist managed to paint seven murals in Mexico City over the years, in discontinuous periods that imply different contexts and conditions ".
"One of them, created in 1945, was transportable, twelve square meters, and addressed the issue of the use of the rebozo by the Mexican woman. In an inexplicable way, it disappeared after being exposed in a stand of a livestock fair and products of the field organized by the National Peasant Confederation ", she mentions. Another, "Attack on rural teachers," was the mural that positioned her as the first Mexican muralist, as well as a reference for muralism in Mexico along with Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfairo Siqueiros.
Both this and the other murals she painted are characterized by addressing issues related to education and social struggle. According to Mexican muralist Antonio González Orozco, Aurora "was a woman whose work was characterized by her social struggle, above all, by the rural teacher in both the pictorial and the lyrics, because she also ventured into literature." She was also one of the founders of the League of Revolutionary Artists and Scouts (LEAR).
Another of the themes that are present in his work is that of women, a figure that he always tried to vindicate in his works. According to La Vanguardia de México, "the painter was always committed to the feminine cause, a fact that is observed in her work" Woman of War ", in which a mother with a combative attitude is shown carrying an arm to her son, without stop holding a gun." In fact, the artist helped to boost the struggle for the vote of women in the Aztec country.
Aurora Reyes was very committed to the social struggle. "She was extroverted and participated with great encouragement in every act that was presented, she fought on all fronts and situations that merited her presence", explains González Orozco, however, the world seems to have forgotten this woman who with her great personality and talent It helped to change the panorama of women and to generate a change in their struggle for equality.
LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translated from: 'Aurora Reyes: una artista rebelde que luchó por la igualdad en México'