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Google Doodle celebrates the work of Diego Rivera

December 8, 2011 | 12:48 pm


You know you’ve made it when Google decides to honor you with a Google Doodle.

Of course artist and social activist Diego Rivera made it well before Thursday morning, but the Google Doodle honoring his 125th birthday spreads the word about the Mexican master to millions and millions. Google's Doodle shows a mural replicating Diego’s distinct aesthetic, capturing his many depictions of industrialism and everyday life in Mexico.

“I’ve never believed in God, but I believe in Picasso,” Rivera once said.  

PHOTOS: The work of Diego Rivera.

Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez was born in Guanajuato, Mexico, on Dec. 13, 1886. He began drawing at a young age, then later went on to study art in Europe before making his return to Mexico.

As one of the founders of the Mexican Mural Renaissance, Rivera painted fresco cycles for public buildings in Mexico in the 1920s. He was commissioned to paint numerous murals in the United States, including a piece at the American Stock Exchange Luncheon Club and for the California School of Fine Arts. His most controversial mural, the “Man at the Crossroads” at Rockefeller Center, was  commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller. A lifelong Marxist, Rivera depicted symbols of Communism in the mural, with portraits of Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin.

Rivera was known as much for his artwork as he was for his tumultuous love affairs. His most memorable relationship was with surrealist artist Frida Kahlo, whom he married in 1929, divorced, then remarried years later.

“I cannot speak of Diego as my husband because that term, when applied to him, is an absurdity,” said Kahlo of her husband. “He never has been, nor will he ever be, anybody’s husband.”

The Museum of Modern Art in New York is currently showing five of the eight frescoes Rivera created for an introspective for the museum in 1930. The works will be on display through May 14.


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Photo: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in 1930. Credit: Associated Press