20 March 2009
Diego Rivera was a Mexican artist and muralist from the early to mid 1900s. He was born on December 8, 1886 in Guanajuato City, Guanajuato and he died on November 24, 1957 in México City, México. His life was a very controversial one. Rivera was an artist from childhood and went away to Europe to study art where he discovered the techniques of “fresco” and “cubism” painting. Fresco is a type of painting where the paint is like a cement mixture with color pigments and cubism is where the object of the painting is broken up, then analyzed, and finally put back together in abstract from. These painting types were the ones most commonly used by Rivera.
After studying on Europe, he painted wall murals in many different places and had exhibits in Paris, Madrid, and New York. In 1921, Rivera returned to México and he did government sponsored murals. His murals caused many controversies because some showed Rivera’s support of communist politics. Another example of his controversy in his painting is the mural he did in 1948 on the Hotel de Prado in México, on which he painted the words “God does not exist”. This mural was promptly covered and hid from the public eye for nine years. He also was hired to paint a mural for Abby Rockefeller, and painted a picture of Nikolai Lenin, who was a communist leader. This lead to him being fired from that job, and the mural’s destruction.
This painting by Diego Rivera was started in 1933 for the Rockefeller Center in New York. He was asked to paint a mural on the second floor in the Palace of Fine Arts. John Rockefeller wanted this painting to get people to stop and think. Rivera included a portrait of Vladimir Lennon in the mural which upset Rockefeller. He asked Diego to remove the picture of Lennon and add one of Abraham ...
His personal life was even more controversial than his painting, because he married Frida Kahlo who was a controversial artist herself, but not because of her paintings. They married in 1929, divorced in 1939, and remarried after that. Frida was about 20 years younger than him, and the two both had fiery tempers, which made their marriage very famous. After Frida died in 1954, he married his art dealer, Emma Hurtado. Three years later, Rivera died of heart failure in México City, México.
Many artists regard Rivera as one of the most influential artists of all time, as well as one of México’s most beloved painters. His life was certainly an eventful one and his legacy lives on in the many paintings and murals he made, whether on buildings or whatever else. For instance, you can buy copies of his famous murals and paintings. Even now, people write about him, which shows how important he is.