Friday, December 4, 2009

Roberto Cueva Del Rio

Today I would like to talk about one of the most amazing muralists that almost no one knows about. The artist goes by the name of Roberto Cueva del Rio and he is in my opinion the best Mexican artist and one of the best of all time. The artist was born in Puebla, Mexico and he is part of the muralist movement happening in Mexico during the time of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

This painting is called "Fundacion de Puebla" and it depicts the historical growth of the city of Puebla in Mexico. I like the technique the artist uses to connect every person and every date into one big picture. It almost seem like it all happened at the same time.The balance and harmony of this painting is amazing, traveling between the spiritual and the physical life and history of the city.
What I also like in this painting is the non-proportional sizes of the people such as the giant hands in the bottom "holding" the atom or the center of Mexican culture, or the small baby that is the same size of the hands also "holding" the same atom, even though the atom is bigger than him. The message in the painting is one of pride of the city and pride of Mexican culture.

This next painting is called the " Fundacion of Tenochtitlan" and it depicts again the city growth, change and history of Tenochtitlan, one of the Aztecs city states. What is amazing about Tenochtitlan is the fact that the city was built above water and it presented great architecture.According to the Spaniards, by the first time they went there it was the biggest city that they have ever seen. The painting depict the rise of the Spanish conquest and the destruction of the Aztec empire.It has a profound meaning as the viewer can see how the Aztec gods hold the Spanish city and one of the gods "crawls" into the city. This proves the resistance and opposition to the Spanish empire that people in Mexico still feel today.Also in the painting, it almost seems as the people in the city are "Spanish" at day and in public, but in their mind and subconscious portrayed by the night in Tenochtitlan,is the acceptance of their Aztec heritage.

The painting above is one of my favorites of all time and my favorite from Roberto Cueva del Rio. I do not know the name of this painting but I believe it is called " Conquista de Mexico".This painting depicts the meeting of the Aztecs and the Spaniards.In the background, the city of Tenochtitlan is depicted and the gods supporting the Aztecs facing the symbols of the Spanish monarchy and army.I like the little details in the mural such as the demon sitting in the Spanish cannon and the Aztec "King" accepting the Spaniards while the priest next to him warns him about them.This mural has amazing balance, color and detail which makes it one of my favorites. I am astonished with Roberto Cueva del Rio work due to the extreme detail and symbolism he put in the mural.

I took a lot of time in this post because Roberto Cueva del Rio is one of the most amazing artists of all time and no one gave him the proper value in his days. He had the most original and creative artwork from the Mexican muralists but only Diego Rivera was the one that got to be known.

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