Diego Rivera's portrait of Frida Kahlo in the MInistry of Education

While  Mondays in Mexico City mostly find one on the outside of most major museums, the Ministry of Education building, just on the north side of the Zocalo, as a working office, is a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, thing. The building itself with its cool courtyard and generous cloisters would be a pleasant enough destination by the series of murals for Diego Rivera make it a compelling documentation of socialist history and art. For me the depiction of Frida Kahlo, centre stage in this arms-fest softens the heavy polemical content, though the ambivalence of placing her dead-centre, with a load of bayonets cradled like the baby she did not have in her arm, and then to have a gun pointed directly at her head says much about Rivera's ambivalent attitude towards her.

The other satiric murals on capitalists, wittier in their acidic take and parody seem more interesting than the solid blocky forms of the many worthy comrade and worker murals, though I am sure my view on this would be not popular.

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