Rivera submitted several drawings for approval before starting work on his mural at Rockefeller Center. Already in this design, given to Abby and Nelson Rockefeller, Rivera offers an allegory between competing social systems—Communism and capitalism. At the center, an international medley of workers stands in front of a fantastic television machine that illuminates a celestial panorama. On either side, masses of figures busy themselves with work and leisure activities. Projections on the left feature soldiers in gas masks and men huddled in soup lines. Matching screens on the right broadcast a mass demonstration in front of what is unmistakably Lenin’s tomb in Moscow and a row of fleet athletes at a starting line. In his proposal for the commission, Rivera described the drive of humankind toward what he envisioned to be a "more complete balance between . . . technical and ethical development."
Gallery label from Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art, November 13, 2011May 14, 2012.