Sunday, September 03, 2006
Man at the Crossroads (1934): Diego Rivera and Nelson Rockefeller
By 1930 muralist and communist Diego Rivera was achieving international recognition, for his murals, known for their passion and folkloric roots, in Mexican culture and communist principles. One of his new patrons was Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of Nelson Rockefeller. She convinced her husband Nelson, to allow him to paint a mural in the newly built Rockefeller Center, in New York City.
Rivera proposed a 63 foot mural "Man at the Crossroads. It was a portrayal of a worker in a crossroad with capitalism, socialism, science and industry. In view of Diego's friendship with the Rockefeller family, they wouldn't object to Vladimir Lenin's portrait be included. The anti-capitalist theme, provoked controversy. The building managers despised the mural, and had final say about the content. The artist was paid in full and banned from the site. As a compromise Rivera proposed adding Abraham Lincoln to the mural, and keeping Lenin's picture. Despite demonstrations by Rivera's supporters, and the possibility of transferring the mural to the Museum of Modern Art. The painting was destroyed by attendants carrying axes. With Rivera paid in full, he had no say to stop the desecration.
The painting was redone at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, with a picture added of Nelson Rockefeller in a nightclub.RENEGADE EYE
Posted by Frank Partisan at 10:30 PM