on August 31, 1999
If you have not yet read anything about the life of Diego Rivera, don't start with this book. While Rivera's re-imagining of his life is riveting, it is merely one more tall tale. Rivera is known for many talents, however, sticking to the truth is not one of them.
If you already have a solid background in the artists life, then by all means read this book to get a sharper insight into his mental inner-workings!
on January 20, 2003
This book is a mixture of fact and fantasy, the real real and imagined world as conjured by the mind of Diego Rivera as told to Gladys March. The invention of facts, the fabrication of the bits of truth to create a colorful story are the result of a newspaper interview that flourished into a series of interviews over many years. Beginning in 1944 and continuing until his death in 1957 Gladys March spent several months each year collecting over 2000 pages of notes that eventually formed the basis of this book. As another customer reviewer stated this is not the place to start when you reading about the life of Rivera since the lines between fact and fiction are blurred at best. A more accurate picture can be found in "dreaming With His Eyes Open" by Patrick Marnham. If you have a foundation in the life and times of one of the great Mexican artists than this book reflects a colorful and imaginative mind. The brillance of his art aside Diego reveals himself and makes no excuses for the parts of his pesonality that are less than desireable. He talks about his experiment in cannanbilsm, witchcraft, his blaphemous treatment of religion and the church, the communist party, his relationships with world leaders, artists and women, his advetures in Europe, the United States and Mexico, his troubles and ills , including his bout with cancer of the penis and in general the things that made his life as large as his physical presence. A very entertaining book that is easy to read because each small chapter deals with an extensive period of his life. All in all this is a good book to compliment other books on Rivera to get an even more accurate but distorted view of his brilliance. Included are several pictures and paintings from throughout his life. The man , the myth and the artist are here for you to decipher the truth and paint your own picture.