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Francisco Toledo (1940-2019) was a key figure of Mexican art and cultural preservation in Oaxaca and regarded by many as Mexico’s greatest living artist until his passing. Toledo was a part of “la Ruptura” (or the Breakaway Generation), a group of Mexican artists working against established nationalistic styles. His work often features Zapotec imagery from his indigenous pre-Columbian heritage. His style is described as using folklore, Shamanism, and mysticism to blend animals and humans; Expressionistic; and environmental. He was known as El Maestro, the master or teacher, who was devoted to bringing art to the masses. He was deeply invested in his community in Oaxaca and created the Oaxaca Museum of Contemporary Arts, the Graphic Arts Institute of Oaxaca, a library for the blind, a photographic arts center, a botanical garden, and more.
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