DIEGO RIVERA: RE-IMAGINED (Canceled)
Help "re-imagine" 8 of Rivera's paintings w live models, costumes, flowers, props & create new art. Tribute to Rivera's love of Mexico.
DIEGO RIVERA: RE-IMAGINED (Canceled)
Help "re-imagine" 8 of Rivera's paintings w live models, costumes, flowers, props & create new art. Tribute to Rivera's love of Mexico.
Haga clic aquí para español: https://kck.st/2QGF80p
Traducción por Greg Webster. (Translation by Greg Webster).
NOTE: THIS PROJECT WILL RETURN IN EARLY 2019. THANKS!
For this campaign, photo artist Harry John Kerker "re-imagines" eight of Diego Rivera’s great masterpieces using live components to stage the "scene" as depicted in the art. Each masterpiece selected reflects Mexico and Mexicans, as depicted by Rivera, who revered his country and loved its people. All the re-imaginings Harry creates will be staged and photographed in Mexico using Mexican artisans and talent. Harry is the only gringo involved in this project.
Harry is a photo artist who loves and specializes in photographing Mexico and its people. He has won over 150 national and international design and photography awards. His images hang in fine galleries in Mexico and the U.S. and have been sold into many private collections. For this campaign Harry has priced the Rewards without mark-up. He seeks help from "the crowd" to facilitate the complex process, and promises to deliver unique and spectacular signed, fine-art collectors' prints in return. More on Harry below.
"Re-imagining" as described here, is an arduous, precise process that takes a painting, and recreates it as an actual version of the people and things depicted. The result is truly original art. The paintings Harry selected celebrate Rivera's love for Mexico, its beauty, and its society, especially its working class. Harry has wanted to do this for years. Of course, he also wants enough people to move past passive admiration, and choose to own it in their homes, to share with friends and family, and proudly display for its beauty and quality. He hopes you see the art for yourself as unique and uplifting, as fine decor, and as a tribute to Rivera's place in art history.
What exactly is a "re-imagining"? It is a process which involves:
- assembling a team of Mexican artisans to create background murals, historically accurate costumes and props; and assembling a team of Mexican theater professionals to create the staging design, theater makeup and scout for indigenous subjects (models) for the "scene";
- combining the above to stage and photograph the "scene" as depicted by Rivera, and as interpreted by the artist;
- producing the final photographic images, adjusting for Rivera’s unique sense of abstract proportion and linear perspective, and professionally outputting the images as limited edition fine art giclee prints and lithography, signed by the artist.
- filming the process as it unfolds, for a documentary film that will include historical perspective of each Rivera piece by curators and historians. (The film is included with every reward @ $16 and above.)
The next section discusses Diego Rivera, the section below shows images of a completed "re-imagining" : Nude with Calla Lilies. Just below that is an explanation of the Rewards (with a sizing chart and pricing chart reflective of the options).
"Harry’s project is an important addition to the story of Diego Rivera’s life and influence. His re-imaginings bring to the forefront many of the same issues Rivera cared about and these issues continue to be relevant in modern Mexico today. Harry is a wonderfully talented artist. This is a project that was meant for him. I look forward to watching it unfold." - Pamela Den Hartog - (Former) Director of Education, Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA)
ABOUT DIEGO RIVERA
Diego Rivera is arguably the most famous and most influential Mexican painter of at least the twentieth century. He was great friends with Pablo Picasso, and much loved by communist leader Leon Trotsky. He loathed John D Rockefeller (who attempted to censor his work) and had a tumultuous marriage to Frida Kahlo, who was herself a highly esteemed Mexican artist.
Rivera the man was colorful, effusive, highly principled, recalcitrant, and in so many ways, larger than life. He had a profound influence on art across the globe. He was opinionated and active on the world political stage.
Rivera felt that the art of his day was too often created for the few - the wealthy upper class - to enjoy in their private parlors. His mission was to take art from the private parlors of the rich, to huge public spaces where it could be appreciated by "the common man". He painted in grand scale. He inspired people into action. He showcased and aggrandized Mexican culture, creating a personal connection, a sense of pride and an important place in history for people who at the time thought they had no place in history. The genius of Diego Rivera and his work was simple – educate and empower. The impact of his work is still felt today.
Says Harry: "The inescapable truth about Rivera’s work - whether large or small in scale, early or late in his career - is that it was never intended to be purely ornamental. It was 'thinking man's' art. Everything he created contained some message of empowerment to and for the downtrodden. Few people know this, but when Rivera passed away, he left everything he had in trust for his greatest love - Mexico and its people."
AN ALREADY-COMPLETED RE-IMAGINING
In May, 2018 Harry was in Mexico - his home away from home - to test this concept and learn from the experience. Here are Images depicting the process for re-imagining Rivera's Nude with Calla Lilies.
Here's a 53 second video by Harry about this re-imagining:
ABOUT THE REWARDS
There are eight re-imaginings. You can choose 1, 2, 4, or 8 (the full set).
The re-imaginings are offered two ways - as fine-art giclee prints and as premium lithographs.
Giclee prints are gorgeous museum-quality works of art. They are hand-signed and numbered by Harry, so they are "limited edition" pieces. (Earliest orders get the lowest numbers.) The giclee prints are offered in three sizes, see the Sizing Chart below.
Premium lithographs are akin to a high-quality poster. They are run on an offset press, and signed. They are offered in one size only.
Each giclee print comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, and a separate card that details the significance of the Rivera painting upon which it was based. Each lithograph has that information on its bottom, in the center.
ALL Rewards, in any style or quantity, include a documentary film on the making of the re-imaginings, featuring Harry with special guest educators and historians.
The giclee prints are always shipped flat, and arrive matted and suitable for framing. The lithographs are shipped in a tube.
You do not have to choose which re-imagining(s) you are selecting now. All "choices" are made AFTER the campaign.
Shipping rates are provided to the United States or Mexico. For shipping rates to other countries, ask Harry. Click on his small round image (top left), then click Contact Us, and send a message.
Rewards purchased as gifts for others will include a special extra; this will be revealed during the "survey" process after the campaign.
Those ordering the Full Set (giclee prints only, any size) also receive a handsome collector's box.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Harry John Kerker is a Los Angeles based photo artist who has enjoyed a long-time love affair with Mexico and its people. His images of Mexican street workers, flower vendors, musicians, families, and children can be see in some of the finest galleries in Mexico and the US. He is the recipient of over 150 national and international design and photography awards, including a television Emmy nomination (from a previous life).
Harry has carried a camera with him since he was a young lad. He never refers to himself as a professional - his favorite saying is that "once you call yourself a professional, you’re no longer an artist, because you're shooting somebody else's ideas.”
In 2009 Harry created StudioMagic, software designed to aid photographers in the art of photo-compositing. He frequently mixes photography with elements of design and art direction, a skill that suits Harry well for Re-imagining Diego Rivera. More in the bio section.
THE 8 PAINTINGS BEING RE-IMAGINED
Nude With Calla-Lilies: Rivera often preferred humble subjects and frequently he celebrated the relationship of peasants and nature. The calla lily is a quintessential example of Mexico's exuberant flora. One significance of this piece is when it was painted - in 1944, just after his two great murals for the National Institute of Cardiology and just before the enormous mural Great City of Tenochtitlan. Historians postulate it was a welcome return to roots and simplicity for Rivera, versus the searing social and political commentary so frequently found in his other paintings during that era.
Frida Kahlo: Rivera's wife and fellow artist is depicted wearing the traditional dress of Tehuantepec, with hand-shaped earrings that were a gift from Pablo Picasso. The mural also depicts Diego Rivera himself seated with his pallet and brush. This image is selected from the Pan American Unity mural in San Francisco. Frida's costume, to be created by a theatrical designer, will be made available as a one-of-a-kind Reward. Finding the right models to pose as Frida and Diego will be critical. The large mural will be deftly painted by Francisco Nadie.
The Flower Vendor: Depictions of Mexican women with beautiful sculptural flowers are among Rivera's most sensual and romantic creations. A great many of his early works feature peasants with indigenous features carrying bundles or offerings. Harry plans to cast and photograph models and place them against a backdrop of both the out-sized painted representations of the lilies and bundles of real natural flowers in order to capture the same sensuality and romance.
Dance in Tehuantepec: Mexico has a deep respect for tradition and the preservation thereof. Art and dance reflective of tradition is still prevalent, from the largest cities to the smallest towns. Mexico's embrace of tradition has always been an attraction to Harry. He expects the re-imagining of this image to require painstaking attention to detail in casting, costuming and in the creation of the large-scale mural as the backdrop depicting the banana trees.
Kneeling Woman with Sunflowers: Rivera was influenced strongly by the sunflower paintings of Van Gogh, Many of Rivera’s paintings contain flowers, a sensual symbol of sexuality. He often uses them for shape and color in an abstract way, distorted or out of scale. The camera does not see this distortion, which is an artistic challenge Harry willingly embraces.
The Maize Festival: In Mexican culture, corn or maize often represents a gift from God. Rivera depicted the corn harvest as a great source of happiness and celebration for Mexican farmers and laborers. The mural features shades of gold and other rich warm earth tones. Harry will blend three-dimensional characters with a two-dimensional hand painted mural, resulting in a most unique piece of art.
Fraternity: This is part of a much larger mural that depicts the solidarity between industrial and agricultural workers. Many of Rivera’s scenes tell the stories of miners, farmers, industrial laborers and peasants. Women in Mexican art are historically portrayed as secondary, or even unimportant. This mural suggests that Rivera sought to change or reawaken from that position. This image is thus not only beautiful, but iempowering to women.
Flower Carrier: This is one of Rivera's most famous paintings, and it's a perfect example of how he takes size differentials and uses them seamlessly so that the abstract seems realistic. The worker on the ground in the painting has a large basket filled with beautiful and bright pink and purple flowers, but the basket is much larger than the worker, and appears to be weighing him down. The woman loading the basket onto his back is also much larger than the worker. This abstract aspect of Rivera's style is among the more challenging aspects of "re-imagining" through photography.
Says Harry: "Many years ago, my job required me to visit Mexico. I have since visited it countless times. My camera has always had a love affair with Mexico, especially with the people. There is energy in the streets - workers, vendors, musicians, laborers and children live together as one. Mexicans are happy, hard working, and religious. I’ve always tried to capture this in my photographs. It should be no surprise that I am a great admirer of Diego Rivera, whose work immortalizes the very same people.
Diego Rivera was a maestro, orchestrating a team of talented artisans and craftsman to help attain his vision. I wanted this to be the model for my project as well. I've assembled talented Mexican artists, theater people, actors, costume designers and art historians as creative partners. In some ways, I see my project more as a powerful statement of solidarity between creative people on both sides of the border. I think this is something we as artists can show is possible with or without walls in today’s divisive political climate.
Rivera’s work identified and elevated his people and their history, turning it into a source of pride for his country. Working on a project of this size in Mexico about Diego Rivera, with my many Mexican friends and talented local art and theater communities, is a dream come true."
MEET THE TEAM
Harry speaks about "the awesome team" in this one-minute video:
Harry John Kerker: Artist / Project Creator - see "Meet the Artist", above
Paola Velasco: Producer / Project Coordinator Born and raised in San Miguel De Allende, Paola is a graduate of the University of Iberoamericana Ciudad de Mexico. She is the glue that holds the team together - a ball of positive energy, a stickler for detail, and one of those rare people that knows how to get stuff done. Paola will also be in charge of scheduling and transport and problem-solving. She is a mother of two and when not working on photographic (or video) productions, she runs a special events business.
Christopher Ruby: Photographer & Documentarian Chris is supremely talented with both a still and video camera. He studied at the University of Colorado and the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). He will act as the key photographic coordinator and also shoot and produce the film documentary about the project. Chris lives in San Miguel De Allende with his wife and daughter where he is also a much sought-after wedding photographer.
Francisco Nadie: Muralist Harry found someone as comfortable on high scaffolding as was Diego Rivera! Francisco is a founding member of the Muros en Blanco Street Art project in San Miguel De Allende. Before 2013, street murals were not permitted, but Francisco and a team of fellow muralists convinced local officials, and in 2015, Francisco muralists from all over Mexico converged on San Miguel, a project that has since produced over 100 gorgeous murals that grace the streets. Francisco will paint all the large backdrop that hold the re-imaginings together. He is married with two sons and avidly collects vinyl albums and Broadway musical soundtracks.
Alberto Aveleyra: Historian Alberto has forgotten more about Mexican history than most people will ever know. He has endless stories of Aztec sacrifices, Mexican revolutionaries and yes - the communist leanings of Diego Rivera. Alberto grew up in Tenochtitan and now lives in San Miguel De Allende. He started his studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Upon finishing his master degree in Europe he began working with the United Nations on a model for sustainable tourism in Mexico. He is now the director of “Artesanos del Tiempo” an anthropological research institute, and on weekends, can usually be found wandering around the pyramid of Canada de la Virgen with a with a crowd of tourists hanging on his every word. His contribution to the documentary film of this project is invaluable.
Christian Baumgartner: Theatrical Advisor For Christian, theater is not something he does - it’s something he lives. He handles every aspect of the theater- acting, directing, staging, lighting and sound design, all with artistry, precision and originality. Christian attended El Foro Teatro Contemporaneo and most recently has been preparing his latest play “Diamante Negro" as actor and director. Christian is our link to the theater world of actors, models, costume designers, makeup artists, prop makers and stage crew. A San Miguel resident, Christian will soon celebrate his 30th year as a full-time working actor.
BUDGET, TIMELINE, & USE OF PROCEEDS
Every artists needs freedom and independence to create and execute on his/her vision. Kickstarter allows this project to be INDEPENDENT, TRUTHFUL, and ACCESSIBLE.
I’m hoping my work reaches a whole new community of art lovers who might not yet know how much they love art, but they love Diego Rivera, Mexico, and Mexican people and culture. Just think of the great art that wouldn’t exist if someone somewhere hadn't visualized, believed in, and supported the artists. It's important to me that all the re-imaginings are staged in Mexico using Mexican artisans and talent. Diego Rivera would approve of that.
If you've got questions, we've got answers! This campaign is a personal work of passion. We are pleased to engage and respond. At the top of the page on the left there is a small round photo of Harry - click that, then click CONTACT ME to send Harry a message.
Risks and challenges
The budget for creating the Re-Imagined art has been carefully vetted. The particular Rivera paintings were chosen. One re-imagining was already staged. All key support personnel - even on the educational and film-making fronts, have been engaged. Costs of travel, photography, post-production, and estimates from key artisans, are known. This has been a project in the works for some time, and to use a slang vernacular "not Harry's first rodeo". As a result, we can state for certain that if and when this Kickstarter succeeds, all Rewards will be produced and received by backers on a timely basis. Thank you again for your interest and support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (44 days)