Thursday, May 25, 2017

Diego and Frida's house

Way back in 1984 when Harry and I first came to Mexico City we took the metro out to Coyacan to see Frida and Diego's house. It was a long trip and when we got there we discovered that the museum was closed that day. (Most museums in Mexico still close on Mondays). At that time not many people had heard of Frida Kahlo but their house looked really interesting. Of course since then Frida has exploded into the public consciousness and seems to be icon of Arty Mexico.

While I enjoyed the movie Frida and love the colours and the Mexican handicrafts I must say I'm somewhat baffled at the adulation given to her work. I find it overly dramatic and self-serving. I know that she was in constant pain and tortured by her relationship and I sympathize. But I don't really see her work as groundbreaking particularly.  Ok, now I'm waiting for some nasty comments.

Still I admire her spirit and the bohemian life she and Diego created. It was a pleasure to finally be able to see the Casa Azul. Behind those blue wall is another world with gorgeous gardens and rooms full of incredible handicrafts and artwork.

This is the colour of the house on the outside--a gorgeous blue that would  look terrible in Victoria but shines here in the bright Mexican sun. Below are a couple shots of the garden, one showing a temple style structure and the other a fountain. the blue wall looks fantastic behind the plants I think.

Inside there are photos and paintings by Frida and images of her and her family. this early drawing (unfinished) caught my eye. You cana see she has talent and is learning about drawing and shading.

I like this photo of Frida. Here she looks confident and a bit sassy. Maybe this was taken before she was so badly injured in the streetcar accident.

Here's the wall of the kitchen where Frida and Diego's names are on each side of the chimney.

And this is their dining room where they entertained the intelligentsia of the day.

Finally a photo of her easel and paints and the wheelchair where she sat.

This is one painting of Frida's that I really like. 

It was nice after all these years to see her house. In the intervening time the museum has become a big deal, with security all over the place and lineups and big prices. While most museums here are between 40 and 75 pesos to enter, this one was 200 plus 30 pesos for a permit to take photographs.
The good thing was that because we're over 65 we got in for only 15 pesos each. I couldn't believe it when she gave me the change.

Our day was stressful as we decided to take the hop-on/hop-off bus to Coyacan--a big mistake. It was a long way and the traffic was horrible. We sat on top in the open air and almost choked to death on the smog. I think that this way of travelling, while worthwhile in many places, doesn't really work for Mexico city. It took us twice as long as it was supposed to to get there.

When we got out of the museum it was thundering and raining buckets so we ended up taking a taxi back to town, using up most of the pesos we'd saved from the museum entry fee. But totally worth it.

I think that the rainy season has begun here in CDMX. Last night it rained and thundered and then again today. One bonus is that it's much cooler. Tonight we'll sleep comfortably even without the fan I think.


  1. The place certainly does look like, at least in their time, it was a home.

  2. The garden photos you posted are in the Tucson Botanical Garden Show of her works.
    I am not a fan of her art either, I like Georgia O'Keeffe better.
    But I am happy you finally were able to get in the house.
    cheers, parsnip


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