Diego Rivera Mural: Billionaires Club; Ministry of Education, Mexico D.F., Third Gallery
Modotti’s Diego Rivera Mural: Billionaires Club; Ministry of Education, Mexico D.F., Third Gallery is a photograph of a section of a mural by Diego Rivera in the Ministry of Education in Mexico City. Rivera painted over a hundred frescoes throughout the courtyard of the building, an early mural series that helped revive and popularize the art of mural painting. Modotti, a friend of Rivera’s, took hundreds of photographs of the frescoes which depict divisions of labor in Mexican society. This particular photograph focuses on Rivera’s rendering of a dinner of the elite, feasting and reading a stock ticker.
Tina Modotti was an Italian film actress and photographer. As a photographer, she collaborated with Edward Weston and extensively documented the Mexican mural movement. In addition to her photography of Diego Rivera’s murals, she is also depicted in five of them. Modotti was involved in both the artistic and political avant-gardes of Mexico City, befriending members of and eventually joining the Mexican Communist party. Political repression forced her to move back to Europe, and she eventually lived in Moscow before moving to Spain when the Civil war began in 1936. In 1939, she returned to Mexico, where she died in 1942.