Fermin Revueltas, younger brother of Silvestre Revueltas, was known for his talent in graphic arts. At a younger age, Fermin often travelled with Silvestre. They studied together to Austin at St. Edward’s College and after, moved to Chicago to study the arts. While Silvestre attended the Chicago Musical College, Fermin attended the Art Institute of Chicago nearby. The schools were so close together that the two brothers lived together. It is my assumption that Fermin would not have been as successful in his career without having the experiences that he shared with his brother Silvestre.
Fermin and Silvestre are two of twelve children in their family. Not only is it difficult for families to be able to split enough time between twelve children, the two children were sent off to school together. Silvestre had to act as a fatherly figure and a role model for his younger brother Fermin. In the 1920s, Silvestre married and the brothers began to part ways. Shortly after, Fermin Revueltas reached the apex of his career. At this point, Fermin was painting beautiful stained glass works. Many of these paintings were of the people, similarly to Silvestre’s music which was for the people. For example, Fermin Revueltas’s “Raramuri” is a stained glass painting of what seems to be a native American man holding a bow and a rope. His “Jalando Rieles” depicts a factory worker pulling the chains of a machine. It seems that Fermin has similar Communist ideals as Silvestre in that all of their art should be for the people. What better way to that your art is for the people than to represent them in your art? Often, people align their political beliefs with the people they are closest to that were role models for them growing up. It is quite possible that Fermin held communist values because his older brother and companion held these same values.
Fermin and Silvestre have similar ideals, similar careers, and a similar pedigree in their education. Without having attended the schools that they attended, having the same upbringing with their family, and having been such a strong part of each other’s young adult lives, it is very possible that Fermin would have taken a very different path with his art altogether and not have been as successful. If Fermin had not studied with Silvestre in Chicago, it is possible he would not have been an artist altogether.
Joshua T. Lott
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