Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Palacio de Bellas Artes

I was so nervous for the kids' field trip today! They had to be at camp at 7:30am (6am wake-up call!) in order tot ake the bus to a bio-park/zoo that was an hour and a half away. They are only 4 1/2!!!! With their t-shirts on, backpacks stuffed with 2 "lunches" and many instructions to hold their teachers' hands the whole time, the climbed the stairs to the camp and kissed me good-bye. I think this whole experience is preparing me for when the kids go to kindergarten and I have to say good-bye that first morning. All of the other moms will be crying, but somehow I will be more prepared;). (who am I kidding, I will need a tissue just like the rest of them). To take my mind off their adventure and to take advantage of it at the same time, Normita, Norma and I decided to leave the little ones with 'ito and go downtown to see a new exhibit at the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Palace). The Art Nouveau architecture and Art Deco interior of Bellas Artes itself is worth the trip. Even though I have visited it many times, I still am in awe and must have 10 different pictures of my standing in front of it with different people. Here's another version, with Normita and I:

The inside is equally impressive with its marble staircase, domed ceiling, and of course all of the amazing murals. We actually came to see the exhibit on Tamara de Lempicka (an Art Deco artist from Poland who lived a bit in Cuernavaca- I hadn't heard of her before but her paintings were striking). I was not allowed to take pictures in the exhibit, but I did take some of the murals- see below.

This is a series of 4 (I only fit 3) panels of Diego Rivera, probably the most famous Mexican muralist. If you really like Diego Rivera, walk over to the Zocalo and go to the Palacio Nacional, where there are many more of his murals up on the second floor over looking the courtyard. He is amazing and his murals are so full of details that every time you see them it is like looking at them for the first time. This one (like all of his murals) is a critique of society, and he has given the press and politicians animals faces. See the 2nd and 3rd picture down for close-ups.

This next one is very, very famous. It was called "Man in Control of His Universe," and was first comissioned for the Rockefeller Center in NY. Once they saw the result, which criticized industrialized society and capitalism, they destroyed the painting. Rivera repainted it here and called in "Man at the Crossing of the Ways." You can see the man in the middle controlling environment, organisms, the planets. Then there is a vaccuum that sucks up the earth's riches to feed the factories, and machines. In the back, covered by the columns, there are workers rallying behind the red socialism flag and Lenin.

This view is to give you an idea of how big the murals are. The next picture is the same mural, closer up.

I'm pretty sure this mural is by Orozco (he, Diego Rivera, and Siqueiros are the 3 most famous Mexican muralists and all have murals here in Bellas Artes). If I remember correctly from Tonio's many tours with me, this is a picture of the Spaniards torturing an Aztec Emperor (by burning his feet or burning him at the stake) so that he would tell them where the gold and riches were. The woman on the right is Malinche, who (at least according to legend) was Hernan Cortez's translator, and may have betrayed the Aztecs and thus helped in the Spanish Conquest of Mexico.

I think this is also Orozco, and I know the subject is a critique of industrialization and global capitalism. In the picture of the bottom you can see a close-up of how the machines are taking over and killing the workers.

It was a great wat to spend the day, and riding the metro in Mexico City brought back so many memories! I have known Tonio and have been coming to Mexico City for 13 years. This ride on the subway was no more remarkable or eventful than any other of the numerous trips: the same guys selling 500 songs on a CD for $1; the bands singing the Beatles in Spanish or accented English with all of their instruments walking through the crowded aisle of the subway car; beautiful little kids with big, brown eyes selling raisins, chicles, chile-snacks; a sleeping newborn strapped with a rebozo to the back of her blind mother, hoping to collect enough pesos for dinner; students listening to their mp3 players; men in suits on the way to work, reading the newspaper. And everywhere, people selling more snacks and treats than you can find at any grocery store, laid out on huge burlap bags or plastic tarps, ready to be picked up and thrown on their back in case the police 10 meters away decides to enforce the "no vending" law. I held on tight to my camera bag, and soaked in the smells and sights, and remember all of our trips together on the metro. We miss you Tonio!!!!
PS: The kids had a BLAST at their field trip! Tonito was kissed by a camel and they got to feed zebras, ostriches, llamas and more! Also Vivi said she ate "pink hair that melted in your mouth like ice cream but tasted like candy." Can you guess what it was???:)
Maya learned "me das?" meaning "Will you give me some?" and said it many, many times asking for STEAK!!?? This was he first time eating red meat! She LOVED it!!!:) I guess we now have another carnivore and Vivi is outnumbered.


Anonymous said...

Tonito, was it fun to be kissed by a camel? How silly!!! Vivi, I also love the pink hair that melts in your mouth! And Maya, I love steak too! Glad they all had a great adventure. Bellas Artes is amazing and full of beautiful art! Becky should do a commerical in the States for it! You described it so well. Love, Grandma

Kerri Bowden said...

Becky I dream of coming to Mexico City someday and having you and Tonio for our tour guides! These pictures are wonderful and I just love living vicariously through your blog:-)
Kerri Bowden

Antonio said...

It sounds like you've memorized the tour better than what I can do. You're amazing! I love all your pictures and detailed description of your travels.

Maureen Rehusch said...

Becky,thanks for all of the beautiful art photos. How wonderful to see 3 of my favorite artists! On Wednesday Steve and I took the train downtown,had dinner, went to Millenium Park and the opening of the new wing at the Art Institute for modern art. The Picasso collection there is fabulous!