Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Diego Rivera; San Francisco
The first painting titled "Riches of California" hints at Diego's political beliefs. The artwork was commissioned in 1931 by the San Fransisco Stock Exchange and painted in an exclusive men's club. The club's decor, which was excessively lavish and regal, cost a whopping third of a million dollars to complete. When put into historical context (the Great Depression), you can better understand Diego's sensitivity regarding the "haves" and "have nots". Although not always subtle, Diego would include political and social propaganda in his murals. This particular painting shows smoke stacks with dollar signs near the top right of the painting. Another of his more famous images was eventually destroyed by its patron Nelson Rockefeller because it included a portrait of Lenin.