For this campaign, photo artist Harry John Kerker "re-imagines" eight of Diego Rivera’s great masterpieces using live components to stage the "scene" as depicted in the art. Each masterpiece selected reflects Mexico and Mexicans, as depicted by Rivera, who revered his country and loved its people. All the re-imaginings Harry creates will be staged and photographed in Mexico using Mexican artisans and talent. Harry is the only gringo involved in this project.
Harry is a photo artist who loves and specializes in photographing Mexico and its people. He has won over 150 national and international design and photography awards. His images hang in fine galleries in Mexico and the U.S. and have been sold into many private collections. For this campaign Harry has priced the Rewards without mark-up. He seeks help from "the crowd" to facilitate the complex process, and promises to deliver unique and spectacular signed, fine-art collectors' prints in return. More on Harry below.
"Re-imagining" as described here, is an arduous, precise process that takes a painting, and recreates it as an actual version of the people and things depicted. The result is truly original art. The paintings Harry selected celebrate Rivera's love for Mexico, its beauty, and its society, especially its working class. Harry has wanted to do this for years. Of course, he also wants enough people to move past passive admiration, and choose to own it in their homes, to share with friends and family, and proudly display for its beauty and quality. He hopes you see the art for yourself as unique and uplifting, as fine decor, and as a tribute to Rivera's place in art history.
What exactly is a "re-imagining"? It is a process which involves:
- assembling a team of Mexican artisans to create background murals, historically accurate costumes and props; and assembling a team of Mexican theater professionals to create the staging design, theater makeup and scout for indigenous subjects (models) for the "scene";
- combining the above to stage and photograph the "scene" as depicted by Rivera, and as interpreted by the artist;
- producing the final photographic images, adjusting for Rivera’s unique sense of abstract proportion and linear perspective, and professionally outputting the images as limited edition fine art giclee prints and lithography, signed by the artist.
- filming the process as it unfolds, for a documentary film that will include historical perspective of each Rivera piece by curators and historians. (The film is included with every reward @ $16 and above.)
The next section discusses Diego Rivera, the section below shows images of a completed "re-imagining" : Nude with Calla Lilies. Just below that is an explanation of the Rewards (with a sizing chart and pricing chart reflective of the options).
"Harry’s project is an important addition to the story of Diego Rivera’s life and influence. His re-imaginings bring to the forefront many of the same issues Rivera cared about and these issues continue to be relevant in modern Mexico today. Harry is a wonderfully talented artist. This is a project that was meant for him. I look forward to watching it unfold." - Pamela Den Hartog - (Former) Director of Education, Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA)
ABOUT DIEGO RIVERA
Diego Rivera is arguably the most famous and most influential Mexican painter of at least the twentieth century. He was great friends with Pablo Picasso, and much loved by communist leader Leon Trotsky. He loathed John D Rockefeller (who attempted to censor his work) and had a tumultuous marriage to Frida Kahlo, who was herself a highly esteemed Mexican artist.
Rivera the man was colorful, effusive, highly principled, recalcitrant, and in so many ways, larger than life. He had a profound influence on art across the globe. He was opinionated and active on the world political stage.
Rivera felt that the art of his day was too often created for the few - the wealthy upper class - to enjoy in their private parlors. His mission was to take art from the private parlors of the rich, to huge public spaces where it could be appreciated by "the common man". He painted in grand scale. He inspired people into action. He showcased and aggrandized Mexican culture, creating a personal connection, a sense of pride and an important place in history for people who at the time thought they had no place in history. The genius of Diego Rivera and his work was simple – educate and empower. The impact of his work is still felt today.
Says Harry: "The inescapable truth about Rivera’s work - whether large or small in scale, early or late in his career - is that it was never intended to be purely ornamental. It was 'thinking man's' art. E verything he created contained some message of empowerment to and for the downtrodden. Few people know this, but when Rivera passed away, he left everything he had in trust for his greatest love - Mexico and its people."