Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Man, Controller of the Universe by Diego Rivera

'Man, Controller of the Universe or Man in the Time Machine' by Diego Rivera

This mural by Diego Rivera is stunning. It contains symbolism, storytelling and includes his strong political ideology. If you click on the image for a closer look, you can find a flattering portrait of Lenin within the mural. He appears to be holding the hands of men together, uniting them. I appreciate how the political beliefs held by Rivera belonged to a particular point in history. This anchors the image to a specific point in time. This mural contains the views of a passionate, opinionated man. These views were often controversial, yet they are beautifully captured within his work. You can enjoy the structure and composition or you can navigate through his complex set of beliefs, values and ideas. He speaks in a strong and potent visual language, yet the visuals can be enjoyed without the depth behind them. Although, I do find the political symbols fascinating. I feel the pleasure of wandering through a unique mind that is different to my own. 

Ernest Halberstadt was an assistant to Diego Rivera, in the video below he talks of Rivera's approach to creating murals. It contains some interesting information on his process.
Click here to view the video on the SFMOMA website