Diego’s industrial people – Rivera Court, Detroit Institute of Arts

We saw the Diego and Frida exhibit at Detroit’s DIA.  For two educationally rich hours I got to study Rivera’s canvases and charcoal studies.  Everything had to be committed to memory as there was no photography – not even sketching – allowed in the exhibit, so I kept my nose as close to his works as the environment would allow.  Then we exited through the gift shop and wandered a course to Rivera Court – where Diego’s bigger than life Detroit Industry fresco exists.  It’s flooring.  If you admire even one single thing about large works on walls, then you must make it a point in your life to see Rivera Court (I felt similar awe seeing the Lincoln Monument at night a few years ago).  Rivera Court is not a place for photography – capturing it is not possible.  We stayed in the court for over an hour and visited it again before leaving the museum, being there compressed by our individual responses to such an artistically overwhelming place.  I love to look for the artist at work whenever I see work in person, and I found Diego’s pencil lines apparent everywhere in the muted industrial storyboards visible at eye level (images inspired by what Rivera observed at Ford’s River Rouge Complex).  Capturing the small images shown here was the only effective way I could capture any of Rivera Court.  It’s given me new artistic material to reflect upon when creating my own work.  – JM

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