Carlos Mérida

(Guatemala City, December 2, 1891 - Mexico City, December 21, 1984)

Painter, sculptor and plastic artist. Of Guatemalan origin, his art was very changeable in all its stages, beginning in a European style, and later in a pre-Columbian style. His creative life, because of its longevity, is, as it was said, eclectic. He developed his work between Guatemala and Mexico. He was the father of the outstanding ballet dancer and Mexican choreographer Ana Mérida. Its beginnings were marked by the European avant-gardes, specifically Fauvism, even though their work was focused on the search for pre-Columbian roots. In 1919 he moved to Mexico, where he actively participated in the renewal of Mexican muralism. In 1945 he painted the series Plastic Divagations around an Aztec theme, in which he synthesized the decorative elements of pre-Columbian architecture through the creation of a system of signs of changing figures. That geometry in motion gave way to the abstraction of the murals, among which those of the Central Bank of Guatemala (1956) and those of the Children's Library of the Ministry of Education (Mexico, 1960) stand out.

Efrain Recinos

Born on May 15 1928 in Quetzaltenango, he was the son of María Valenzuela and the artist José Efraín Recinos, who instilled in him the love for art from an early age.
1962-1978, design the Miguel Ángel Asturias Cultural Center, which includes the National Theater, Chamber Theater and Open Air Theater. His inspiration was the Mayan architecture and the landscape of volcanoes and mountains. Nine years after its inauguration, it was declared a National Heritage.
Efrain Recinos, painter, muralist, sculptor and writer. He has captured the perception that Guatemala has in his work, and has integrated the plastic architectural design.

Some works
• Miguel Ángel Asturias Cultural Center.
• Park and fountain, Parque de la Industria.

• National Mortgage Credit, west.
• National Music Conservatory, interiors.
• National library, interior and exterior.

• Large music, Museum of Modern Art.

• 1963, First prize murals National Mortgage Credit, Integration of Sculpture to Architecture.
• 1990, Order Gabriela Mistral (Chile).
• 1999, Order of the Quetzal.
• 2002, Monja Blanca, APG.

Manolo Gallardo

The painter studied at the National School of Plastic Arts, in the mid-1950s. From 1957 to 1965 he alternately studied painting and sculpture, including the bronze foundry in Spain, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Academia Artium and that of Eduardo Peña (Mobil, 2002).
His style is realistic and surreal. His main techniques are oil, pencil, crayon and charcoal. In sculpture, modelling in clay and and bronze. His themes were the human figure, still life, landscape, portraiture and free creativity (Mobil, 2002).
He participated in more than 100 personal and collective exhibitions, including the Regional Museum of Chiapas -in Mexico-, The Vatican Museum in Rome -Italia-, Expo 92 in Seville and Casa Do Brasil in Madrid -Spain-, among many others (Manolo Gallardo, nd).
Gallardo has also devoted part of his time to teaching, at the National School of Plastic Arts in Guatemala, at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and at the Gallardo Academy in Guatemala (Díaz, 2010).

Distinctions and recognitions

Since 1954, Gallardo has received more than 50 national and international recognitions, among which are:

  • Order of the Quetzal in the degree of Grand Officer (1995)
  • Meritorious Prize of the Plastic Arts, Arco Iris Maya (2000)
  • Degree of Emeritissimum: University of San Carlos de Guatemala

Outstanding Paintings

  • Entre el cielo y el infierno
  • Dios creando la Vía láctea
  • Meditación y levitación
  • Judas
  • Cariño
  • Autopsia

Pepo Toledo

"I do monumental pieces not for their large scale, but for the energy they release and the spirituality they radiate."
Pepo Toledo (Guatemala, 1951) is a Guatemalan businessman and artist. He has been one of the largest figures in the automotive industry in Guatemala and is an eminent painter and sculptor who has exhibited internationally.
One of his greatest achievements is getting Guatemala to become the first country in the world to eliminate lead from gasoline all at once. He always fought against privileges. As regulator, he had a very influencing part in the opening of the Telecommunications and Electricity markets in Guatemala. As a result of that arrangement, today, Guatemala occupies first place in cell phone coverage and competition between phone and internet companies. He promoted the reconstruction of the La Aurora Zoo. While he was President of Mario Monteforte Toledo’s Foundation, he edited 10 books and produced 11 documentaries to promote the values of Guatemalan culture. In July 4th, 2010 he began his journey as a sculptor and in only 4 years, has had 25 solo expos, 15 public sculptures in Washington D.C, Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Pepo, in his Manifesto, condemns the excess of contemporary art, and proposes the return of art to aesthetics and moral values.