Degrazia and Rivera

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Early in his career artist Ted Degrazia did some work under the guidance of Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Jose Orozco. The Degrazia Gallery in the Sun in southern Arizona displays some of this artwork.

José Cárdenas: He was the son of Italian immigrants born in an Arizona territory mining camp. Early in his career, artist Ted DeGrazia did some work under the guidance of Mexican painters Diego Rivera and José Orozco. In tonight's "Sounds of Cultura," DeGrazia's paintings on display in southern Arizona.

Man1: In 1942, DeGrazia went to Mexico to try to meet Rivera. He was 33 at the time, so he was still a very young man. Diego Rivera was in his 50s, as was José Orozco, and they -- They sponsored DeGrazia at the palace of fine arts in Mexico City and felt he was going to be the next big North American painter.

Man1: This was a very different style for DeGrazia, that most people are used to seeing. It was his early work and it was done -- they were done with a palette knife. Up to this point, he had been using a brush. Now he's moving to working with a palette knife. It's very hard to master painting with a knife and it's something that he became very, very, very adept at. You notice that in this particular painting, DeGrazia's already started leaving out faces. The reason that DeGrazia left faces out was that he believed that when there's a little something missing, you can always continue to come back. And see something new. His collaboration with Diego Rivera certainly helped him with his name recognition and Diego was very big and it was an honor to be working with him and also OROZCO. This is the work that really came from DeGrazia's heart. It wasn't the work that was really commercially viable. But it was the kind of paintings that came from inside him, from his soul.

Man1: This is very almost abstract, you know, in the way it's painted. I mean, it's a market scene. You can see what it is, but it's pretty wild and the color in it is just crazy.

Man1: What you see here, is really from his heart.

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