Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Museums

My last week of holiday before school was spent in DF and so I had the chance to visit the two museums I have been keen to see for a long time; the Frida Kahlo and the Diego Rivera...

The Blue House
This is where Frida Kahlo was born and where she lived periodically with Diego Rivera. The house is in beautiful Coyoacan, is ovbviously blue and has works by Frida, Diego and other artists, plus letters they sent eachother, a great big pile of Communist literature and a mini pyramid in the garden.
After seeing the inside of the house (taking photos unfortunately prohibited) I practiced my Spanish watching the video at the museum: From what I can gather Kahlo, in many ways had a very unhappy life, with a husband who had various affairs (including one with her sister) and spent a lot of time in hospital (due to polio at the 6 and a bus accident in 1925). She was also childless and suffered many miscarriages which she often references in her paintings.
Although, on the other hand I'm not entirely sure life for Frida was ALL the doom and gloom she made out. I think she was an outgoing, confident human being, always favouring the more tradditional Mexican dress and painting herself with prominent Mexican features (thick eyebrows and yes, a bit of a tash). She also managed to have her own affair with Leon Trotsky while he was exiled in Mexico DF...

...However in the painting below she does liken herself to a wounded animal.

It was particularly fun visiting the museum with my dramatic friend Vanessa who wandered around the house comparing herself to Kahlo at every oppourtunity.

Below is a photo V took of me outside the house:

Either way it was a great day and fascinating to visit the wacky house of this wacky but talented artist with my extremely wacky friend.


Rivera designed Anahuacalli as a place to display his Pre-Columbian artefacts. It is made out of dark Volcanic stone and is reminiscent of a Maya tomb, inside being cool and dark. In all honesty I was expecting this place to be rather dull, being a bit of a pleb when it comes to ancient history but with the (free [of course]) tour guide I found it pretty interesting especially thinking how old many of the items in the museum are.

Diego's collection is huge, and includes models of warriors...

...childrens' dolls made from the historic version of playdough...
...and what may look like a jug but, when filled with certain levels of water, wacked and blown into correctly is in fact a musical instrument:
I also liked some Diego's personal touches especially his snake and Communist (what else?) themed ceilings:

And the random frogs/toads on the ground floor:
From the terraza there are views of the surrounding city and volcanoes in the distance although I am sure they were easier to see when Dego built his museum and Mexico City was not one of the most polluted places in the world (got to love that filthy sky)!

Outside of the museum there was also an alebrije; a paper maiche cross between a monster and an animal. These are a very common and tradditional type of art in Mexico and come in all forms and sizes (although this one was a biggy). Having mocked other tourists for taking photos of themselves "fighting" the monster, Zoe and I later did the very same:
Overall it was a great week and one which makes me very grateful to live in such an interesting city with so much to do and such interesting inhabitants.

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