Forbes magazine named Francisco Toledo the most important Mexican living artist, from a list of 10 cultural and art institutions. Even though the qualifier “living” is somewhat aggressive, it maintains an undertone for his work.
He is an epitome of Mexican culture, as well as a cultural character internationally. What has made Francisco Toledo worthy of such important acknowledgment?
More than just an artist, he is a custodian of culture. Much of his recognition is due to his involvement in establishing more than 10 artistic institutions. For example, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca) and the Institute of Graphic Arts of Oaxaca (Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca).
Despite the worldwide recognition and appreciation of his work, Toledo continues living in his beloved Oaxaca. The streets, cultural centers and institutions recognize his merit and contribution to children and young artists.
His exhibitions in the US and Europe have expanded his recognition. He keeps his feet on the ground thanks to the events he does in his hometown. Additionally, he helps the children of his community to solve questions they might have with books. He has the ability to teach through these actions. Another artform.
The different artistic mediums he masters are part of the reason he was named the most important living artist in Mexico. His sculpture, paintings and graphics demonstrate his ability to create.
Much of his social contribution is due to all the institutions and cultural media he has created. His career reinforces this by being active since the sixties. Another reason why Forbes also listed him as one of the most important Mexican creatives in its January 2019 edition.
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