Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finding Art Ministry - Diego Rivera

In honor of Cinco de Mayo (yes, I know it was a few days ago, lol!) I decided to do a post on Diego Rivera.  He was born in Guanajuato in December 1886 to a affulent family; his father's side was of noble descent.  At the tender age of ten, Rivera began studying art at the Academy of San Carlos, in Mexico City.  In the year 1907, he traveled to Eurpoe to continue his art education in Spain and France.  Like many other artists studying in Europe, he became influenced by Cubism and the works of Picasso at the time.  By the 1920's he shifted his interest to Post-Impressionism and his work took on more interest and started selling in galleries. 

Diego Rivera returned to Mexico in 1921 and was commissioned by the government to paint murals on public buildings.  His murals refelcted Mexican society and the 1910 revolution; he strived to create art that reflected the working class and native people of Mexico. Throughout time, Rivera's style developed into an Aztec influence with bright bold colors and large simplifed figures. 


From the cycle Political Vision of the Mexican People Tehuana Women. Fresco 1923

In the early 1930s, Rivera became on of the most sought-after artist in the United States. He received several commissions for paintings as well as commissions for three murals in San Francisco and was given a one-person exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. In addition, he decorated the central court of Detroit Institute of Arts; was invited by General Motors to create murals at the Chicago World's Fair; and he painted murals at Rockefeller Center and the New Workers School in New York.

With all this success, his artwork was also met with controversy.  Rivera's mural at Rockefeller Center included a portrait of Lenin and he was asked to remove it.  When he refused, the mural was destroyed - which is now viewed as one of the greatest scandals of art history. 

Flower Seller 1942 by Diego Rivera
Flower Seller, 1942

Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park, 1948 Fresco
Flower Vendor by Diego Rivera
Flower Vendor, 1935