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Artist - Francisco Zuniga
Born - 1912
Died - 1998
Origin - Costa Rica
Year Built - 1981
About the Artist: Born in Costa Rica, Francisco Zuniga began his training in the studio of his father, who carved Santos or wooden religious figures. His fascination with the prehistoric culture of Mexico led him to settle there in 1936. While apprenticing with various sculptors, Zuniga began studying the collections of the Museum of Archaeology in Mexico City and the indigenous culture of the Southeastern Mexican people. In the sculpture of the Aztec and Maya, he found "the myth of life and death in aggressive, rounded figures with a heavyness, vitality, and formal equilibrium." In 1947, he became a citizen of Mexico and a state teacher.
Zuniga has explored the female form throughout his career, finding thematic and stylistic inspiration in prehistoric sculpture. In turn, Three Women Walking (Tres Mujeres Caminando) represents three stages of femininity: the young, the matronly, and the elderly. In their simple robes and strident poses, they assume a heroic, archetypal character. Donald Holden has characterized these women as the "nameless heroines of Mexico's proletarian art: barefoot Indian women with thick torsos, solid limbs, and dresses that fall in . . . big folds." Despite the heavy, round masses of the figures, the artist conveys a strong sense of kineticism in the poses and modeled surfaces. Zuniga's women may be seen as a celebration of both femininity and the feminine form.