In 1932 the controversial Mexican artist and radical revolutionary Diego Rivera was invited by wealthy New York financier Nelson Rockefeller to paint a mural at the Rockefeller Centre, that vast monument to capitalist success. When the mural, Man at the Crossroads, was discovered by Rockefeller to include a portrait of Lenin, relations between the two men quickly soured. The upshot of it all was that Rivera refused to paint out Lenin’s head, he was sacked and the entire mural chipped off the wall.
A witty commentary on the public controversy that erupted at the time was provided by a poem by E. B. White. Published in The New Yorker, and called ‘I Paint What I See’, it consists of an imaginary conversation between Rockefeller and Rivera during which, in response to criticism of his mural, the artist defends the principle of artistic integrity by saying, ‘I paint what I see; I paint what I paint; I paint what I think.’ By which, Rivera is stating that his art is shaped by his ideological understanding of the world and that he has every right as an individual to express his viewpoint.
It is one of my favourite poems and, forgetting about the political and ideological context of the 1930s, it serves me well as Editor of Brigid’s Fire, for the pages of this magazine are open to all those who tread the various pagan and magical paths to express their views. If we look at recent editions, we can see the wide divergence of backgrounds from which contributors come: Occultists, Celtic Reconstructionists, Druids, Wiccans, Solitaries, Hedge Witches, Traditional Craft, Ceremonial Magicians and more besides.
Everyone has something to bring to the feast that is Brigid’s Fire magazine; all views are equally respected for we can all learn from one another as none of us have the absolute truth about the Divine Mystery. It is this diversity of opinion, the high quality of the writing and the excellent production standards of the magazine that are winning us new readers all the time. Our front cover art is really marvelous and absolutely stunning. We have got the ‘product’ right, and are poised on the threshold of major growth in the sales of Brigid’s Fire; so keep those articles and artwork rolling in.