ARTWORK

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BIOGRAPHY

Francisco Benjamín López Toledo (Mexico City, Mexico, July 17, 1940, according to some sources, Juchitán, Oaxaca – Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico, September 5, 2019), known as Francisco Toledo, was an artist of Zapotec origins who also did outstanding work as a left-wing activist, social fighter, environmentalist, promoter and cultural promoter and philanthropist. He supported numerous causes focused both on the promotion and conservation of Mexican artistic heritage and on free access to artistic training and care for the natural environment.

He was one of the greatest plastic artists in Mexico, with wide international recognition. He was a printer, draftsman, painter, sculptor and ceramist. His art reflected a great appreciation for the aesthetics of nature, particularly that of animals that are not conventionally associated with beauty, such as monkeys, bats, iguanas, toads, and insects. In his sculpture, he had two forms of expression: one where he represented things from the natural world, specifically bestiaries of different animals, and another where he totally detached himself from reality.

In his work, the representation of human figures and other animals abounds in a kind of mating, whether explicit or symbolic. In this sense, his moral vision affirms that the world of humans and that of animals is one with nature. Androgyny is highly represented in his paintings.

In 1998 he received the National Prize for Science and Arts in the area of ​​Fine Arts. In 2000, Prince Claus. In 2005, he was recognized with the Right Livelihood Award for his commitment to protecting the Oaxaca community. The Autonomous University Benito Juárez of Oaxaca distinguished him with an Honoris Causa Doctorate in 2007.

His work was exhibited in the most important venues in Mexico such as the Gallery of Mexican Art, the National Museum of Popular Cultures and the Museum of Modern Art, among others. In addition, his work was in venues such as the New York Public Library, the Tate Gallery in London and the Kunstnaneshus in Oslo.