Galán, Julio (1959–2006)

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Galán, Julio (1959–2006)

Julio Galán, a Mexican painter and native of Múzquiz, Coahuila, was born on December 5, 1959. He studied architecture at Monterrey University from 1978 to 1982. By 1980 he had begun exhibiting in Monterrey at the Galería Arte Actual Mexicano. After graduation he abandoned architecture and dedicated himself to painting. Influences on his work included Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney, as well as Mexican popular painting, comic books, and both Mexican and American kitsch. Kahlo was for many Mexican artists of the 1980s a symbol of freedom from the Mexican artistic status quo, giving young artists license to explore themselves and their mexicanidad, or Mexican national identity. The traditional ex-votoand retablo formats of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are echoed in Galán's work. His images are often autobiographical and surrealistic, manifested in narratives that are ambiguous—with individual elements appearing to be unrelated—and that make use of disjunctive perspectives.

Galán's pictures frequently contain both gay and religious references. In this context, the artist often included his own image in his works, suggesting personal ambiguities. After the mid-1980s Galán lived in Monterrey, New York, and Paris. He died on August 4, 2006. His work is widely collected and exhibited internationally.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Centuryxml .


Galan, Julio, Luis Mario Schneider, Luis Mario, Ida Prampolini, et al. Julio Galán: Fotografias de Graciela Iturbide. Mexico City: Grupo Financiero Serfin, S.A. de C.V., 1993.

Hilty, Greg. Julio Galán. London: Timothy Taylor Gallery, 1998.

Julio Galán: Carne de Gallina. Oaxaca, Mexico: Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca, 2002.

Julio Galán: Exposición Retrospectiva. Monterrey, Mexico: Monterrey: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, 1993.

Rasmussen, Waldo, Fatima Bercht, and Elizabeth Ferrer, eds. Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1993.

Sullivan, Edward J. Aspects of Contemporary Mexican Painting. New York: Americas Society, 1990.

                                   Clayton C. Kirking