This essay is one of a series that Diego Rivera published in Mexican Folkways, in which he voices an opinion on the debate about popular versus universal art that arose out of the victory of the Mexican Revolution. In this series (see “Children’s drawings in today’s Mexico,” “Painting in pulque bars,” and “Los Retablos: verdadera actual y única expresión pictórica del pueblo mexicano” / ”Retablos: The one and only authentic Pictorial Expression of the Mexican People”), Rivera claims that popular artistic styles—the portrait, the retablo, the pulque bar paintings, and even children’s art—are all essential components in the evolution of the new Mexican painting. Mexican Folkways presents the material in both English and Spanish. The translation, however, is somewhat cavalier, and Anita Brenner’s version actually omits some paragraphs, thus distorting certain sections of the essay.
Rivera mentions a collector from Guanajuato, identified as Francisco Orozco Muñoz, who owns several paintings by an anonymous artist. Until the fifties, this collector owned many works by Hermenegildo Bustos, a painter from Purísima del Rincón, Guanajuato. Between 1952 and 1956, Orozco Muñoz’s widow sold the collection to the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. For information on Bustos, consult Esther Acevedo, "Hermenegildo Bustos: a nineteenth-century painter, active in the twentieth century (un pintor del siglo XIX activo en el XX)" in La materia del arte (José María Velasco, Hermegildo Bustos, and Tatiana Falcón) (Mexico City: Museo Nacional de Arte, 2004). This essay has been published in Raquel Tibol, Diego Rivera, Arte y Política (Mexico City: Grijalbo, 1979); Xavier Moyssén, Diego Rivera, Textos de Arte (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1986); and Esther Acevedo (org.), Diego Rivera, Textos Polémicos (Mexico City: Colegio Nacional, vol. 2, 1999).