Today marks the 70th birthday of the National Health Service. It’s a birthday worth celebrating, and it conveniently falls on Throwback Thursday. The NHS isn’t perfect, but what is? It’s something one easily takes for granted. Up until the point when it is needed, when it suddenly becomes a life saver that it worth every penny. Where it is found to be lacking, one will normally find a Tory ‘reform’ or cut-back at play.
When I left Mexico in 2011, the city was making some effort to spruce up a few of its landmarks, historic streets and monuments, The Revolution monument perhaps being the best example. I rather hope they got around, or will get around, to fixing up the La Raza monument. It was looking very much the worse for wear the last time I ventured past. It had certainly seen better days, as shown in the photo below…
My search for famous murals, or even less than famous murals so long as they have been painted by famous muralists, has taken me across the city, from north to south, east and west. And Tepito. Sort of. But today’s trek takes some beating. I visited the Monumento a la Raza yesterday, and went on to the nearby hospital as I’d heard there were murals there by Diego Rivera and Siqueiros.
I wandered around this massive hospital but could find nothing. So I asked a chap at the gate. He pointed inside. Oh dear. But I’d come so far, it seemed silly to give up now. So in I went, for a good wander until I found them. I have to confess, it feels a bit creepy to be a tourist wandering about an extremely busy hospital, stepping over the sick, pushing past the elderly and infirm, and hiding the sight of the dismembered with an outstretched palm!
But I have few morals when it comes to photographing murals. I ploughed on regardless, oblivious to the odd looks I got, and eventually found the right room. Now there are supposed to be murals by Rivera and Siqueiros, and I found only one. Did they work together, or was there another I missed? And if the latter, which of the two gents was responsible for this one?
If I were to use my artistically challenged eye to guess, I would lay responsibility firmly at the feet of Rivera. It looks so much like his style of bold yet sometimes simplistic painting. And yet there are touches, here and there, of the more sophisticated, futuristic and stylish artwork I’d associate with Siqueiros. Someone who knows will hopefully stumble along and tell me. The photos, and the short video which is embedded below, are all on Flickr – click here.