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Rivera The Fat

August 24, 1986

William Wilson is wasting his time writing art criticism. He should devote himself to judging Mr. Universe contests. His article about the Diego Rivera retrospective at the Philadelphia Art Museum dealt more with Rivera's body than with his painting aesthetics ("Fanfare of Uncommon Muralist," July 27).

I was gargantuanly offended by the many references to Rivera's fat. After informing us that Rivera "weighted in at 300 pounds," Wilson went on to use "fat" words interchangeably when discussing the "magnetically unattractive" Mexican muralist or his work. Words and phrases such as, "ghost (with) pudgy fingers, proportions of the Graf Zeppelin, giant, larger, zaftig, solidly, broader, lumpish, thick-lipped, Falstaff-like, monstrous, gorging, bloated (twice) gross (twice), and glutted" lard the article. Perhaps Wilson could lend Rivera's ghost a queen-size sheet to cover its "pudgy fingers."

Particularly distasteful was Wilson's unappetizing description of Rivera: "thick-lipped, baby face with eyes popped out of his head." After this Wilson professes amazement that Rivera could have "wives, mistresses and admirers." Someone should inform Mr. Wilson that thick-lipped and corpulent folks have fun, too.

After I eat a cream puff I'm going to write another letter regarding Martin Bernheimer's mean-spirited attacks on Nureyev.

BARBARA BREITER

Los Angeles

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