SAT Writing and Language Practice Mock Test 4

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Ghost Mural

  In 1932 the well-known Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros was commissioned to paint a mural on the second-story exterior wall of a historic building in downtown Los Angeles. Siqueiros was asked to celebrate tropical America in his work, 1 he accordingly titled it “América Tropical.” He painted the mural’s first two sections, featuring images of a tropical rainforest and a Maya pyramid, during the day. 2 Also, to avoid scrutiny, Siquerious painted the final section of the mural,the 3 centerpiece at night
  4 The reason for Siqueiros’s secrecy became clear when the mural was 5confided. The centerpiece of the work was dominated by images of native people being oppressed and 6including an eagle symbolizing the United States. Siqueiros’s political message did not please the wealthy citizens who had commissioned his work. They eventually ordered the mural to be literally whitewashed, or painted over with white paint
  However, by the 1970s, the white paint had begun to fade, and the bright colors of the mural were beginning to show through. At the same time, a social and civil rights movement for Mexican Americans was working to raise awareness of Mexican American cultural identity. Artists associated with 7this began to rediscover and promote the work of the Mexican muralists, particularly Siqueiros. To them, “América Tropical” was an example of how art in public spaces could be used to celebrate Mexican American heritage while at the same time making a political statement. Inspired by Siqueiros and the other muralists, this new generation of artists strove to emulate the old mural masters.
  8The result was an explosion of mural paintingthat spread throughout California and the southwestern United States in the 1970s. It was the Chicano mural movement. Hundreds of large, colorful new murals depicting elements of Mexican American life and history appeared during this period, some in designated cultural locations but many more in abandoned lots, on unused buildings, or 9 painted on infrastructure such as highways and bridges. Many of these murals can still be seen today, although some have not been well maintained.
  Fortunately, a new group of artists has discovered the murals, and efforts are underway to clean, restore, and repaint them. Once again, Siqueiros’s “América Tropical” is 10 leading the way. After a lengthy and complex restoration process, this powerful work is now a tourist attraction, complete with a visitor center and a rooftop viewing platform. 11 Advocates hope that Siqueiros’s mural will once more serve as an inspiration, this time inspiring viewers to save and restore an important cultural and artistic legacy

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