Born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1896, Carlos Orozco Romero played an important role in defining Mexican modern art. Romero’s father, though not literate in the world of fine art himself, supported his son’s pursuit of the arts and hired a painter to help him refine his craft.
At the age of 13, Romero left home, supporting himself by drawing cartoons for various news publications and magazines. He became a member of the Centro Bohemio, an organization of artists, intellectuals, and militants. Through the collective, he become close with David Alfaro Siquerios, Xavier Guerrero and Carlos Stahl. At 16, Romero left Guadalajara for Mexico City to join the Mexican muralist movement.
In 1920, Romero received a scholarship from the state of Jalisco to study in Europe. He traveled throughout Belgium and France, and lived in Madrid for a short time, where he met painter Rafael Alvert and Mexican writers Luis Gonzaga Urbina and Alfonso Reyes. He returned to Guadalajara in 1923 and began studying engraving with Peruvian artist José Sabogal. Romero also undertook mural work on his return, including a commission to paint the Jalisco State Museum and Library in Guadalajara with Amado de la Cueva. In 1928, Romero had his first solo exhibition in Mexico City—an event which marked his transition from caricaturist/illustrator to painter.
The artist traveled to New York in 1939 for seven months to exhibit and work under a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1957, He visited Spain, Italy, France and Switzerland to further acquaint himself with Europe’s artistic masters of modernity.
Romero’s surrealistic style never failed to captivate audiences, while the beauty and uniqueness of his canvases has made his work widely appreciated and treasured. Romero’s distance from Mexico’s obsession with social realism afforded him status as an important innovator in Mexican art.
Carlos Orozco Romero passed away in 1983 at the age of 87, from pneumonia and malnutrition.