From Mexico To the World: Diego Rivera, His Iconic Paintings and Love For Frida Kahlo and Mexican Coffee
Dear readers, Mexico Real Cafe has the pleasure to share with you our post dedicated to Diego Rivera who was one of the most influencial political activists and painters of the 20th century in Mexico.
Diego Rivera was born in 1886 in Guanajuato, one of the most beautiful and historical cities of Mexico. To those who do not know where Guanajuato is located, let us tell you that it is located in the heart of the country.
Guanajuato is the place where Mexico’s independence (the end of the Spanish colonialization over Mexico) was planned and executed by the Mestizo and criollo social classes who wanted to gain power. They led the indigenous people to fight for independence and freedom from oppression.
Guanajuato was also a very important place for its natural wealth. It was rich in gold and silver mines that were exploited by the Spaniards for many centuries.
Diego Rivera was born in this historical place, son of a Mestizo woman (part Indian and part European) and a criollo man (of European descent born in Mexico).
Rivera’s exceptional artistic talent was obvious from an early age, he painted his first murals on his home’s walls when he was around 5 or 6 years old.
Because of his talent Diego Rivera got a sponsorship from the Mexican government to study in Europe, he studied in France and Spain. From the latter he was influenced by Realism and impressionism; and cubism from France.
In Paris he used to live in Quartier de Montparnasse where he used to gather with colleagues in cafes to discuss for many hours about art and the cubism style while having a cup of coffee.
Though Rivera’s painting style shows signs of cubism (the use of geometric forms in artwork), realism and impressionism, Rivera’s main contribution was particularly on muralism.
Diego’s murals revived the ancient Mayan mural tradition, and gave a visual voice to indigenous Mexican labourers, miners, farmers, and peasants seeking social equality after centuries of oppression.
As Rivera was a political activist and founder of the communist party in Mexico, Diego’s paintings are also about political events.
Through his artwork Rivera brought to the front his ideological views, for example in his depictions of the Mexican Revolution.
Diego Rivera influenced the world of art through muralism, he was the founder of this style, his largest contribution is the fact that muralism took art out of the gallery and placed it in public areas so that more people could enjoy and appreciate its beauty.
Rivera’s work inspired programs like U.S. President Roosevelt’s Federal Art Project, which employed artists to paint scenes of everyday life on the sides of buildings. In the 1930s and 40s, Diego Rivera painted several murals in the United States.
About Rivera’s personality, it is well known that Rivera had a strong and controversial personality. It was due to his personality that he grew distant from his painting colleagues in Paris and returned to Mexico.
In this painting Diego depicts Kahlo as an esoteric icon full of primal energies: fire and earth. The painting also portrays Kahlo’s interior and exterior forces which are represented by trees and a heart shape. At the bottom of this painting Rivera writes with small letters: For the girl of my eyes.
Today both of them have passed away but this painting dedicated to Frida Kahlo is proof of Diego Rivera’s eternal love for Frida.
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are two the most influential Mexican painters and lovers of mexican coffee whose artwork is known internationally.
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