As I mentioned in my January 23rd blog, Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo special show is at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Diego was commissioned by Edsel Ford to paint the Rivera Court with these enormous murals on 4 walls in all these sections depicting Detroit industry. The show included the huge sketches he did to prepare for the murals. He spent time at the River Rouge plant making smaller sketches of the assembly line and the workers.
Diego was a communist and was pressured by the party to express his political views in his art. It got him in trouble in New York on his next commission by Rockefeller when he went beyond the approved sketch and added a portrait of Lenin. When asked to remove it he refused. The more than half done mural was jackhammered off the wall and Diego’s commissions dried up.
His wife Frida suffered a miscarriage while in Detroit and her pain and loss came out in her art.
I don’t put my politics or pain in my art. I want to feel happy and uplifted. This whole building gives me a good feeling as I walk through the halls. You can just feel the history and creativity in the air. As I was looking up at these paintings by Diego Rivera, in between and over the arched doorways there are these carved faces. Such strength. Seemed to say, “Good to see you back again.” Oh. I just have to paint that.
When I look at this painting now, I hear the echoes of footsteps in my mind. And so it goes.
“Rivera Court, DIA” is available. 6×6 inch / Acrylic on hardboard