These teeth have gnawed away at my memory for weeks since I saw this small Diego Rivera mural at the MOMA. Interesting note: When we entered the exhibit, we walked into a sea of sprawling legs — a group of children diligently drawing, laid out on the floor, right in front of this painting. On worksheets with number two pencils. Drawing these dangerous, snapping jaws with abandon.
Those glorious white canines ripping around and into your subconscious. The snarl of the subjugated. The blood lust of the warrior. Although it is the jaguar knight’s knife that is doing the dirty work here, it’s the teeth that snap up the glory. Teeth that could shred the flimsy veil of “reality.”
So yes, the painting calls the poor of 1910’s Mexico to rise up against their oppressors, recalling the conquistador’s invasion into the Aztec civilization in the 16th century. But if you watch closely and listen, you may hear a feral rattling. . . parts of you that have been exiled from your mind. Those that may one day show their glinting white teeth.
“You’re my witness, I’m your mutineer.” Warren Zevon from the song Mutineer, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (An Anthology)
Been to alot of museums in my day, but today was a first for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Dragged along my significant other who isn’t much into art, although I’m making progress. Went straight for the fifth floor, not sure what I would find, but recognizing some big names that the SigO might tolerate. Got the audio guide phone to help us out, in case we forgot our art history – Ha!
Walking through the first gallery I was taken again by Frieda Kahlo’s magnificent unibrow. No wonder Diego Rivera left her (his exhibition is on the 1st floor). Seriously though. . .we all try real hard to beautify and she just is sitting there unabashedly glorifying the unibrow. My guess is she is questioning the power beauty gives a person and then just flat out making you admire her big unibrow. Ballsy!
Note to self: these were painted after her lover left. . .
Wandering through the galleries of picture snapping people, I was not prepared for major works by the heavy hitters that I had only seen in books. If you like the impressionists and post impressionists, you have to persevere and make it through to the end of the fifth floor galleries to hit the jackpot. Several huge (20 ft or more) canvases of Monet’s waterlilies! Incredible. They swallow you whole and make you gasp for air.
Definitely worth another visit. I will be coming back for more!