Diego Rivera: Artist of the People

Anne E. Neimark, Author
Anne E. Neimark, Author HarperCollins Publishers $17 (116p) ISBN 978-0-06-021783-9
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
Neimark's fictionalized biography of the Mexican muralist abounds with anecdotal detail attesting to his gargantuan appetites for work, food, women and leftist politics. Ultimately, however, the work amounts to little more than a series of events strung together alternately with strangely unaffecting accounts of Rivera's compassion for peasants and with tiresome references to his bulging, froglike eyes. Abrupt transitions make the story hard to follow--Neimark has Rivera praising his wife, Frida Kahlo, in one sentence and decrying his American patrons' capitalism in the next--and also call attention to the lack of the character analysis that such a complex personality demands. The most revealing index to Rivera's identity as an artist--the work itself--is treated mainly as a political phenomenon. Fourteen black-and-white and four color illustrations are included, along with a list of Rivera's murals in the U.S., a short bibliography and an afterword urging readers to emulate the artist by creating politically expressive murals of their own. Ages 8-12. (Nov.)
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