Monday, May 18, 2015

Frida Kahlo's Mexico City

I have wanderlust. I've been caring for my baby in Santa Cruz for over a year, and I want to travel internationally so bad it hurts. Thats not going to happen, so I am revisiting an adventure I had years ago, imagining myself in Frida Kahlo's Mexico City. 

I was inspired to write this post by a New York Times Article here, about Frida's current popularity, 60 years after her death. What most caught my attention in the article is the show about Frida at the New York Botanical Garden. Oh how I wish I could go!

Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, which translates to: Museum House Studio. Juan O'Gorman designed and built the twin home studios for Frida and Diego, who lived and worked
"next door" to each other for 7 years here. Frida moved back to her parents' home in 1941, when her father passed away, but Diego stayed in the twin houses until his death in 1981.

Exhibits like this make me miss New York so much! The New York Botanical Garden opened the show "Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life" on May 16th. The exhibit features Kahlo's art work, plus a reimagining of Frida's garden at her parent's home in Coyocan, Mexico City. Special events will feature dance, music, food and film inspired by Frida's artistic influences.

I visited all the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera sites I could find when I visited Mexico City in 2002. I scanned some of my film photos from those adventures for this post. I was traveling through Central America and Mexico for a couple months with my good friends Sarah and Shirley. We happened to be in Mexico City when the Frida movie premiered, so we saw it on a discount Tuesday matinee show. Ushers came into the theater there to sell popcorn and soda to the patrons in their seats.

I love the Frida movie! If you want to take a mini-vacation to Mexico, you should watch it right now. It's streaming on Netflix.

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, outside Mexico City.
Like me, Kahlo was inspired by Mexico's Pre-Colombian past.
Xoloitzcuintles (Mexican hairless dogs) at Museo Dolores Olmedo in Mexico City. The museum, in the home on acres of property with gardens of Sra. Olmedo, features the artwork of Rivera and Kahlo. I lived at a museum in Peru with Peruvian hairless dogs, which are related to the Mexican ones, but are a distinctive breed. I loved waking up every day to the dogs, laying on the museum patio, trying to take themselves seriously, when they can't really look anything but ridiculous. 

Leon Trotsky and Frida Kahlo were lovers. Trotsky's Mexico City home is now a museum,
walking distance from the Museo Frida Kahlo in the Coyacan district. The bullet hole from when he was shot in bed is still in the wall. That's me, posing with a piñata I purchased at a local market, which I carried all the way home to Santa Cruz with me so my little cousins could have a piñata for Christmas, a Mexican tradition. 
Kahlo's family home, now a museum. I wish I had photographed inside, I think it wasn't allowed. There's a colorful patio, and the house is full of Frida's belongings. This was my favorite Frida site.

You can buy anything you need on the street, Mexico City, near the Zocalo


The New York Botanical Garden exhibit: Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life

New York Times Article on Frida's current popularity 

Museo Frida Kahlo

Museo Dolores Olmedo

Museo Estudio Diego Rivera

Frida - the movie

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