Growing up in the area of the Juárez-El Paso border, Francisco Delgado was surrounded by the realities of immigration, racism, and cultural conflict that marked the area. Concerned with these unsettled social conditions, he resolved to deal with them through his art. After taking his foundation art classes at El Paso Community College, Delgado enrolled at the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP), where he confronted the school’s art program and its emphasis on European art at the expense of Latin American artists. “My reaction was to appropriate Mexican icons into Renaissance paintings.” Expanding on this initial protest, he began explicitly to address border politics in his paintings, creating images not only for the benefit of those schooled in the arts but also for “the common person.” This resulted in artwork of a more aggressive, conflictive nature, which provoked a stronger response among viewers. Delgado received his B.F.A. in painting and printmaking from UTEP in 2000. During this time he also received a scholarship to attend a summer session at Yale University School of Art. He has cited Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Manuel Ocampo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera among his influences. “The purpose of my art is not to persecute anyone,” he has observed, “but to expose problems within our community. It is necessary for us as a society to identify our failures before any significant positive change can take place.”
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