TITLE: “The Two Fridas”
ARTIST: Frida Kahlo
WHY WE CHOSE IT: Mexican painter and feminist icon Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 - July 13, 1954) was born on this day, 105 years ago. Kahlo, the wife of famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, once said: “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”
SOURCE: Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City
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TITLE: “Detroit Industry (North Wall)”
ARTIST: Diego Rivera
WHY WE CHOSE IT:
“An artist is above all a human being, profoundly human to the core. If the artist can’t feel everything that humanity feels, if the artist isn’t capable of loving until he forgets himself and sacrifices himself if necessary, if he won’t put down his magic brush and head the fight against the oppressor, then he isn’t a great artist.” —Diego Rivera
Today marks the 125th birthday of legendary Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera (Dec. 8, 1886 – Nov. 24, 1957). Celebrated for his helping to establish the Mexican Mural Movement, Rivera often depicted his radical political views via large-scale wall frescoes. The artist also became well-known for his tempestuous marriage to contemporary painter Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954).
SOURCE: The Detroit Institute of Arts
TITLE: “Day of the Dead”
ARTIST: Diego Rivera
WHY WE CHOSE IT: Day of the Dead (or Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican national holiday—the country’s biggest celebration of the year. It takes place on November 1-2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2). The holiday is a time for family and friends to honor and pray for those who have died.
In 1921, the Mexican government commissioned artist Diego Rivera to paint a series of frescoes for public buildings, initiating the Mexican Mural Renaissance. In 1923, Rivera began a series of 124 frescoes on the courtyard walls of Mexico’s Ministry of Education, portraying the labors of the Mexican people, their art and popular festivals, including Day of the Dead.
SOURCE: Ministry of Education, Mexico City, Mexico