ENGLEWOOD — Englewood resident Leni Frantz got more than she bargained for when she went to the Elsie Quirk Library.
Speaker and educator Baila Miller made a presentation last week on the life of 20th century Mexican artist Diego Rivera, famous not only for his work but for his relationship with artist Frida Kahlo.
“(Baila Miller) has such a depth and insight to her in the way she presents things,” Frantz said. “She opened a window to the soul of the artist. She was able to provide more information and presented in such a way more than any textbook can provide.”
Diego revived fresco which hadn’t been used in hundreds of years, Miller told a packed room upstairs at the library.
Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid lime plaster on walls.
“He was able (with his art) to revive a country with honor and prestige,” Miller said. “He conveyed so much in his work to connect to the people.”
Miller, a Venice resident, discussed Rivera’s relationship with Kahlo, the themes of his paintings, politics, relationships with his contemporaries and his travels.
“Rivera often made recreations of others’ work,” she said. “(By contrast) his version is often saturated with colors.”
Rivera’s murals are Renaissance style. Miller discussed his rivalry with artist Pablo Picasso.
“Picasso called him a conquistador,” Miller said. “Rivera would run to the train station to give crackers to children so they wouldn’t starve.”
Miller has developed a following for her speaking tours offering college-style lectures. She regularly speaks at the Venice Island Library.
For more information, go to http://www.bailamiller programs.com or call 941-416-4362.