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Eden Bradley Erotica

Sunday, October 14, 2007
Art Day! (for the first time in far too long)

Today I'm going to talk about the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, two early 20th century painters who are known for their bold images, their Communist politics, and for their great love affair.
Diego Rivera was a Mexican painter and muralist. He studied in Mexico in the early 1900's before going to Europe to further his studies. He showed in Europe and New York, but always returned to his native Mexico. In the 30's and 40's, the political undertones in Rivera's work in both Mexico and the U.S. sparked enormous controversy. In 1933 he began a mural for the Rockefeller Center in New York which contained a portrait of Lenin, but it was removed after a furor erupted in the press. As a result of the negative publicity, a further commission was cancelled to paint a mural for an exhibition at the Chicago World's Fair.
His private life was as dramatic as his artwork. He was a notorious womanizer. He is known to have fathered at least two children by two different women, and was still married when he met his great love, Frida Kahlo, an art student twenty years his junior. Rivera married Frido Kahlo in 1929. Their passionate, stormy relationship resulted in divorce, and then a remarriage.
Above are two of my favorite Rivera pieces. He often painted flower vendors and other scenes from every day life in his native Mexico. His more political work is very powerful, but I must admit I prefer his 'prettier' pieces.
Frida Kahlo had an incredibly difficult life. She contracted polio as a child, and as a young teen was in a tragic bus accident, which resulted in over 30 operations throughout her lifetime as well as daily pain, which is reflected in a number of her self-portraits. Her work is known for her vibrant use of color and strong, sometimes frightening imagery. Her work is intensely personal, a representation of her suffering, as well as of the beauty she was still able to see around her.
Kahlo was also a rebel in many ways. She was an early feminist, and her work was groundbreaking for female artists of her time. She was as well-known for her lovers as Rivera was, which included many women, and Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky. Her life ended far too early, at the age of 47.
I find both Kahlo and Rivera's work moving and lovely, even her more morbid pieces. There is a sense of strength, often of anger. The work of both these painters is dreamlike, evocative, and is made more so for me in knowing the story of their tempestuous love for each other.

posted by Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin at 10:39 PM -
  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger Red Garnier said…

    Art! My favorite topic in the world (besides books, lol!) Eden, am such a FAN of both Diego and Frida! She currently holds the record for highest price paid for a latinamerican work at 5.6 million dollars for a work titled ROOTS, which is a tiny painting, but so very strong and moving - like all her works. I love her works because she laid her heart out bare in each one. We can see the raw pain and anger in her just by looking at one. What a wonderful tribute to them both, hugs!!! And stop lurking at my blog and talk to me, lol! ;)

  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger Lillian Feisty said…

    Frida is one of my favorite female artists. I'm even more fascinated by modern portraits of her. I have several of them in my kitchen.

  • At 7:03 PM, Blogger R.G. ALEXANDER said…

    Its gorgeous! I love your art blogs so much!!

  • At 9:48 AM, Blogger Kate Willoughby said…

    Hey! You art-blogged!!! I art-blogged, too, but not in the traditional way. Hooray!

    Kahlo is a little too stark and disturbing for me, but I like Diego. I reproduced one of his paintings in chalk at my kids' school last year. They were having an Italian street painting festival and I did it to spark interest. The thing was like 3' x 5'...really fun and challenging.
    Too bad that kids felt the need to roll over it with their skateboards and bikes. GRRR.

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Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin
Los Angeles, CA, United States

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