House

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     Diego Rivera is considered the father of Mexican mural art and the father of modern political art in Mexico. Diego reinterpreted Mexican history from a revolutionary and nationalistic point of view. Not only did Diego expressed powerful ideas in his murals, but he also applied the tools he learned with modernist techniques. More than any other artist, Diego Rivera provided models for incorporating cultural past and ethnic identity into an alternative modernist vision, one that provided for a responsible fusion of the social and the aesthetic. Diego was an important personality in the art world of the 20th century and his thoughts were well respected in the art community. He was an innovator in expressing his ideals unifying art and politics.
Diego Maria de la Rivera y Barrientos and his twin brother Carlos were born on December 13, 1886 in Leon, Guanajuato. Carlos died in 1888, which left Diego as an only child. Since he was very young (he begins to draw at the age of three), he loved to paint, so much that his father covered a room of their house in Guanajuato with paper so that the child could paint all over the walls. Diego says that it was in that room where he created his first murals.
In 1896, while he was still in high-school, he entered the Academy of San Carlos. He was so obviously talented that in 1906, after his first show, he was granted a four year scholarship from the governor of Veracruz, Teodoro Dahesa, to continue his studies in Europe. In 1907 he goes to Spain, where he promptly becomes part of the intellectual circles. After studying there for two years he moves to Paris and starts living with Angelina Beloff.
Angelina Belloff was a Russian emigre artist. Diego met her in Spain among the artistic circles. Diego and Angelina had a son but due to an flu epidemic the child died in the fall of 1918. Diego had many lovers, among them was Marvena, another Russian woman. Diego and Marvena had a child named Marika right after the death of Angelina's baby. Diego precisely describes his relationship with Angelina when he says "She gave me everything a woman can give to a man. In return, she received from me all the heartache and misery that a man can inflict upon a woman" In June of 1921 Rivera left Belloff in Paris and goes to Mexico, saying that once he is established he will send for Angelina. He never does and they do not see each other again until many years later and by pure chance.

While studying in Spain, Rivera was fascinated by the works of Cezanne, who introduced him to cubism. He was also very interested in Mondrian and created many paintings reproducing his style. His greatest influence, however, was Pablo Picasso's. Diego was interested in cubism because it questioned the pre-established conceptions of painting. With his cubist work, such as "Zapatista Landscape," " Woman at the Well" and "Sailor at Lunch," Rivera earned recognition among the artistic circles in Paris. This technique, however, did not fulfill him completely because he felt a lack of originality in his work. He was following Picasso's trend and felt that he would never be like him. This is why he decides to find his own style by going back to a more realistic way of painting. The most prominent critic of the time, Pierre Reverdy, did not appreciate Rivera's change of style, and neither did Leonce Rosemberg, his art dealer. The art community abandoned Diego, which left him in absolute poverty because no one would buy his paintings. This decision proved costly to his reputation as a modernist, but not to the evolution of his aesthetics. The situation, however, forced Diego to go back to Mexico on July of 1921.
Diego Rivera's style, was the product of the influence of many different art styles, such as cubism, impressionism, classical European style and Aztec art. His murals had a busyness that remind us the Baroque, covering Churches with images and details. Some critics referred to Diego's particular style as "agoraphobic" because he seemed to be afraid of having open space in his paintings. In his murals he uses many symbols

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