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In 1948 he moved to Mexico, where he studied at the National School of Plastic Arts (UNAM). There he was trained in the muralist tradition, receiving influence from painters such as José Clemente Orozco, Rico Lebrún and Leonard Baskin. Towards the 1960s, Belkin’s work leaned towards plastic with more social content, in the context of the recently successful Cuban Revolution.
Around the same time, he became part of the Nueva Presencia movement, an artistic movement of rupture, which, among others, included José Luis Cuevas, Francisco Icaza, Rafael Coronel, Ignacio López and the young poet Ezequiel Saad Tobis. 2 In 1968, He moved to Europe, where his work acquired a new dynamic character against the static of his previous productions. During the 1970s, his work acquired a dominant shade of ocher, while he ventured into oil painting and sculpture.
In 1977 he returned to Mexico, where he would retake muralism (already abandoned and disqualified by the dominant artistic trend in the country). He was invited to make murals at the recently inaugurated Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, where five murals and several sculptures of his authorship are preserved. He also executed other pieces at the Madrid College in Mexico City.
In Arnold Belkin’s murals one can recognize the will of an artist to leave testimony of past and present history. In these works is the drama of injustice, war, death and exile, as well as the dawn of knowledge and the yearning for peace.