Siqueiros, like Leonardo da Vinci, was fascinated with new inventions and the conveniences that industrialization offered modern workers. He did not believe that art-making was an old-fashioned process unaffected by technology. Being an artist, to him, was the same as being a construction, factory or agricultural worker. All of these occupations are a benefit to society. Artists, like other workers, should use new materials and techniques to advance their professions.
Two of the products that Siqueiros used are Masonite™ and pyroxilin paint, also known as Duco.
Masonite™ is made from steamed and blasted woodchips which are then flattened into sturdy boards. It was invented in the U.S. in 1924 and was soon used as a less expensive alternative to wood for making houses and constructing furniture. Have you ever played on a ping pong table or a skateboard ramp? These are two items for which Masonite™ is most commonly used.
To learn more about Masonite™ and its inventor visit this article from Time™ magazine
About Duco™: In 1924, the DuPont Company developed an automotive lacquer made from pyroxilin that dried quickly enough to keep up with the speed of the assembly line and was used by car manufacturers like Ford. What made this paint even more special was the fact that pigment could be added to create rich, vibrant colors like red, sea foam green or bright yellow. It transformed the way cars were produced and allowed consumers a choice when it came to the color of their cars.
How did these inventions affect Siqueiros and other subsequent artists? Siqueiros, who had been experimenting with ways of making art that utilized new inventions, began using pyroxilin paint (Duco) instead of traditional oil paints or tempera. In 1936, while living in the U.S., he taught an art class in New York on experimentation, expressive brush strokes and the “accidental drip” using industrial paints. One of his students was Jackson Pollock, who was later seen as one of the artists who defined modern American painting with his use of Duco™ and “the drip” on canvas.
To experiment with the “accidental drip” you can visit the fun website http://www.jacksonpollock.org/ Just click to drip!
SIQUEIROS AND THE WORLD AROUND HIM
SIQUEIROS AND INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS
SIQUEIROS AND COSMIC LANDSCAPE
SIQUEIROS AND HIS USE OF ALLEGORY
THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE MAZE BOOK