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Opening night of Diego Rivera at MoMA

I felt lucky to attend the opening night party for the Diego Rivera exhibition “Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art” last Tuesday. The (always welcomed) open bar aside, I was excited to get a preview of some of the works of an icon like Rivera, an artist for whom I also have a sort of nostalgic attachment; his relationship with Frida Kahlo was the focus of one of my earliest group projects as a freshman at Brown. In tribute to their mercurial relationship, I tried to convince my friend to show up with a unibrow. Alas, she refused.

For this exhibit, the “MoMA reunited five portable murals—freestanding frescoes with bold images commemorating events in Mexican history—that were made for a 1931 monographic exhibition of the artist’s work.” In contrast to a cognitive dissonance I experience at “fancy” events celebrating political artists, I thought there was a brilliant unintentional timing of this exhibition with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which arguably is a contemporary incarnation of the same deep socioeconomic issues and injustices that Rivera so frequently portrayed. All that aside, his frescoes on display at the MoMA are a must see. The boldness of the colors and simplicity of composition belie their deep emotional and historical impact. It’s difficult to walk away from the exhibit and not be moved.

Relevant to this topic: check out the absolutely gorgeous home of Diego and Frida in Mexico City.