Augusto Crespin was born in El Salvador in July 1956. He studied ink drawing and painting in the Academy of Valero Lecha from 1969 to 1973, engraving with the Japanese master Futaba Ando in the Centro de Artes de El Salvador in 1975 and further studies in engraving with the Japanese masters Hodaka Yoshido and Futaba Ando in the University of Costa Rica in 1981.
Crespin has participated in 75 collective exhibitions in Asia, Europe and America, including Germany, Canada, Costa Rica and Japan. He has also had 32 individual exhibitions ranging from Canada, Germany, Denmark and Costa Rica to El Salvador.
Born in the flanks of San Salvador Volcano, raised in the changing zeigeist of San Salvador from rural to urban localities, and having lived through the Salvadoran Civil War, he conveys social criticism in his ink drawings and paintings of ordinary people. This translates into depictions of violence and deformities in times of war, and of poetic beauty during peace times.
Crespin had previously explained the concept to which he adheres in search for inspiration through a monologue he gave during an interview in War Zones:
"...I know these streets, I know this city [San Salvador], I have seen it change... I have seen it fall down from bombs, no? So in this way I have seen... The demonstration when Monsignor Romero died, it was an enormous multitude in the streets of San Salvador. And to see this multitude and to hear the gunshots and see all those scenes, it touches you, it hits you, no? You realize that the painting you did, which I did, in earlier years, didn't respond to the moment being lived. So to see all this pain, all this desperation, I realized that in my painting I had to vary, to change, because I consider that painters have to be present with their epoch. If not, what will the future say, when they look and see the work, the results of an author, if he didn't paint his period?"
- Shultz, E, "Paisajes y formas breves de El Salvador" Brochure. Sociedad Germano-Ibero-Americana, 2003.
- Simone, T, "Transeunte del color" Brochure. CONCULTURA, 2002.
- "Secretaría de la Cultura, Presidencia de la Republica de El Salvador". Retrieved 9 February 2015.[permanent dead link]
- Anderson, J. L. & Anderson, S., War Zones, page 111. Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc., 1988.
- Sullivan, E. J, Latin American Art, page 65. Phaidon Press Limited, 1996.