MIGUEL MORA—A Muralist for the Ages
By Rob Mohr
In 2013, during a national event in Guanajuato, Miguel Mora was named one of the 10 top muralists in Mexico. Recently, Mora’s new Mural, commissioned by the Instituto Technilogico Superior Chapala, was dedicated, and honored by dignitaries from State and Local governments. Focused on the great achievements of humankind, the mural blends pivotal moments in human history with a powerful statement about how our diverse human origins come together to form a strong and vibrant educational community.
A lifelong student of the fine arts, as well as an astute student of the history of Mexico, Mora is considered by the arts community a master Mexican painter and restorer of sacred objects. His stunning painting of La Llorona, (the crying goddess) — who sheds her tears on the fledgling Inca town, today’s Mexico City, built on a rattlesnake infested island in the middle of Lake Texoco — is typical of Mora’s daring renditions of Mexican history.
His paintings of history recreate specific events. His series, Estampas de la Conquista, takes the viewer through time into a mysterious, idealized, and romanticized world, where segments of Mexican history have been recreated. Mora, nationally acclaimed for these works, uses his mature vision, the symbolic nature of events in history events, and his well developed understanding of human history to create fascinating dramas that allow a viewer to enter and dwell in a long-lost world for an hour or two. (see 18 Mora paintings here)
Consistent with the best of the early American painters, many of Mora’s paintings of pre-Columbian history have the stark feel and power of Watson and the Shark, and other works by John Singleton Copley (1738 -1815). Mora’s stoic painting of the Inca founding their independent state on the shores Lake Texoco, which presents the founders as noble and courageous people grasping a future not yet realized, is equal to Edward Percy Morgan’s (1862-1935,) Pilgrims Landing, and The Purchase of Manhattan.
Mora’s long career as an artist began with sudden recognition of his unusual talent for bringing history to life. After finishing his arts education, Miguel’s first arts position was as an assistant mural painter for the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. Soon after he began, his boss left on a trip and forgot to leave Mora with a specific task to complete. Mora, for the next 26 hours, without a break, worked on a large original work designed to illustrate a pre-Columbian scene. As he was finishing the work he felt the presence of someone behind him. It was his boss, who was delighted with the quality of Mora’s mural. That same day, Mora was appointed as an official mural painter. Miguel Mora over the next ten years painted numerous murals for the highly acclaimed displays of pre-Columbian art that grace the Anthropology Museum.
Here at Lakeside, Mora is best known for a series of paintings of the historical events in the development of Chapala, which adorn the El Faro (small round lighthouse) at the end of the pier in Chapala. In Jalisco, he has also been commissioned for major works at the Club de la Universidad, and the Club de Golf in Guadalajara, restoration planning for the Academia de Artes Plasticas de la Universidad de Guadalajara, and by the city of Chapala for a series of low relief sculptures of the life of Rivera located across from the Cathedral.
Commissioned by the national government as a restorer of religious art, Mora has restored artifacts throughout Mexico. On occasion, these precious objects are shipped to Mora and restored in his studio. Mora has made a significant commitment to the restoration and preservation of religious art in national religious shrines, while locally, he has restored works in Santa Elena de la Cruz in Guadalajara, in Templo Senor de la Ascencion in Teuchitlan, the Monumento al Maestro, in Villacorona, and major restorations within the Temple in Chapala.
Miguel Mora is a gentle, unassuming man of great talent, who wants to spend the remainder of his life painting murals of historical events and working to restore damaged painting and sculptures from churches throughout Mexico. His dream its to paint a great religious mural in a church of national significance. I suspect that dream will soon be realized.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com