Herman Sillas started painting at 12 in a small neighborhood art Saturday class in Southeast Los Angeles,. By 16 he received a scholarship at the Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles. Two years later he put his budding art career on hold to pursue law at UCLA.
Today, he is an artist (painter & muralist), writer, attorney, poet, and devout fisherman. His latest mural hangs in a Huntington Park community computer center dedicated to training Latino youth. He has received numerous commissions from nation-wide Latino organizations and his art hangs in offices of members of congress and United States senators.
As a young lawyer in the turbulent sixties, he represented L.A. Chicano activists in the courts. During this period his paintings expressed the anger and frustration of the young Mexican Americans at that time. His 1964 acclaimed painting, “Mexican American,“ depicted the identity crisis facing Mexican Americans. Sillas activist role led him into politics where he served as California’s Director of DMV under Governor Jerry Brown's first administration and then as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California after being appointed by President Jimmy Carter. Following his stint in politics, he became a more reflective painter focusing on his heritage and the Mexican culture.
His work reflects the influence of Diego Rivera as Sillas' art seeks his Latino culture, and through American activist eyes. People become his subjects as they go about their daily chores. His work many times provokes questions and an emotional reaction. His use of bold colors has brought praise from collectors and peers. In 2004, his “Fiesta/USA” painting won Show’s Best at San Clemente Art Association’s 2005 Spring Show. Twenty-five hundred posters were immediately purchased by LA’s Best, an after-school program. He paints at his home studio in San Clemente and displays his work on his website and in galleries in Southern California. Sillas continues practicing law, writes a column, 'View From The Pier' for the San Clemente Sun Post, and fishes on weekend mornings at the pier. More information and his art may be obtained at www.hermansillas.com. He may be reached at email@example.com, or at Herman Sillas Fine Arts, (949) 498 6519 for commissioned pieces.
Herman Sillas joined Fine Art America on April 26th, 2010.