¡Feliz Cumpleaños Diego!
Today marks the birthday of famed Mexican artist and revolutionary Diego Rivera (1886-1957). Born in Guanajuato in 1886, Rivera showed an interest in art from a young age, and by the time he reached his twenties he had become a well established painter. In 1907, Rivera left Mexico for Europe where he would remain for fourteen years. Rivera was heavily influenced by the Italian Renaissance style of painting known as the fresco form. Upon returning to Mexico, Rivera began using the fresco form in a number of his works. Feeling that it was important to bring art to the people where they lived and worked, Rivera painted murals in public buildings such as universities, hotels, schools, etc. These giant murals often depicted scenes of Mexican history, industrialization, and the worker’s struggle. In the early 1930s Rivera worked on commissions for a number of prominent American businessmen. One of these works included a mural entitled "Detroit Industry" commissioned by Henry Ford to be painted on walls of the Detroit Institute of Art. A tribute to the American industrial worker, the 27 panel mural depicts industrial life in the United States, and that at the Ford Motor Company in particular. Diego was also well known for his marriage to another prominent Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. For more information on Rivera’s life and works, check out author Anne E. Neimark's biography entitled Diego Rivera : artist of the people. The 2002 film Frida also provides an entertaining view of Diego and Frida's tumultuous marriage. If you are intersted in seeing Rivera's Detroit Industry mural in person, you can check out a pass to the Detroit Institute of Art from the ADDL, for more information visit http://www.detroitadventurepass.org/index.php.