Pan American Unity: Panel 3

The Plastification of Creative Power of the Northern Mechanism by Union with the Plastic Tradition of the South

Rivera anchored the mural with the central figure, the Aztec goddess Coatlicue combined with a Ford Motor Company stamping machine. Rivera wrote: "Symbolizing this union (between North and South) was a colossal Goddess of Life, half Indian, half machine. She would be to the American civilization of my vision of what Quetzacoatl [sic], the great mother of Mexico, was to the Aztec People. This idea was elsewhere expressed in a portrait of Dudley Carter, an engineer who returned to a pure expression of plastics, using only primitive materials and implements, such as a hand axe. I also painted a portrait of my wife Frida, a Mexican artist of European extraction, looking to the native traditions for her inspiration. Frida represented the vitality of these traditions in the South as Carter represented their penetration into the North. The kinship of the Mexican and American traditions was further represented by an old Mexican planting a tree [sic] in the presence of a Mexican girl, as an American boy looked on. Nearby I painted a portrait of Paulette Goddard, holding in her hands what she called in a press release, "the tree of life and love." Representing American girlhood, she was shown in friendly contact with a Mexican man".