Robert Delgado

Artist Website

Artist Statement

My work evolves from the reality of the photo. Both my easel work and public art murals have been based on the people and circumstances that I encounter, with both being an appreciation of the human figure. I was born and raised in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, did my time in the US Army, and I am a 1976 MFA graduate from UCLA. I spent most of the 70s and 80s in Chiapas State, Mexico, where I honed my skills in murals and public art. In 1985 I was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and lived in Mexico City, working on large monotypes and murals. I saw the influence of Chicano barrio realism on the Mexico City art world first hand, with young artists discovering the gritty streets of their own city. I lived in the Tepito district, the Hell’s Kitchen of the capital, near the Mercado Sonora, the world’s largest toy market. I saw how Chicano art had come full circle, with the artisanship of the Mexican craftsman taken to Los Angeles and made into the art of the Chicano experience. Now it had come back to its origins, the handcrafted toys influencing Mexican sculpture; the street theatre becoming performance art.

I am familiar with Central America, having done some murals in Estelí, Nicaragua, in 89-90, and with Chiapas being an extension of that experience, the 1994 Zapatista Revolution was no surprise. In 1995, I was awarded another Fulbright, this time for teaching public art at the National School of Fine Arts in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. My students at the School completed two large murals and got paid contracts for two more, and I completed the usual quota of easel paintings and monotypes on paper.

I work and live in Los Angeles. I continue to paint and lately has been doing some airbrush over photosilkscreen experiments in cut fired tile. These grew out of my public artwork, a growth industry in the arts that pays most of the bills.