Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Diego's Daughter

Guadelupe & dad
Following a press conference for Michael Landy's Saints Alive exhibition at the San Ildefonso Museum, we were invited to a small reception hosted by one of the trustees in a house in San Angel in the south of the city. As we drew up to the gates it became apparent that this was no ordinary house. It was the residence of Adolfo Lopez Mateos, former President of Mexico between 1958-64. The trustee, Juliana, is his granddaughter. Aside from running the country, Mateos was a great art lover and was responsible for setting up several of Mexico City's great museums, including the world-renowned National Museum of Anthropology. The house is stuffed with his art collection, French furniture and ceramics. 
But my abiding memory of the evening will be a long talk with Diego Rivera's daughter, Guadalupe Rivera Marin, just the two of us on a sofa. She's now 90, but bright as a button and speaks excellent English. She told me how her mother, Lupe Marin, admired Diego Rivera's work and although she didn't know him, decided that she wanted to marry him. So she travelled from her home in Jalisco province to Mexico City, met him and got married. Simple. That was in 1922. We talked about her career as a senator and congresswoman, food (she's an excellent cook apparently), Diego and Frida of course, and how I must learn all about Mexico's pre-Hispanic past in order to understand Mexico.
What an incredible evening.

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