I absolutely loved my time in Ciudad de Mexico, and, perhaps with the exception of snacking on fried chapulines (grasshoppers) and guacamole at Corazón de Maguey, nothing was more memorable than my visits to Casa Azul. Though I was certainly aware of the bullet points of the Frida Kahlo story, I’d never taken the time to get to know her life and work. The house and its garden—where Kahlo lived as a child and then returned as a prominent artist years later—are beautiful versions of the local architecture of its period in its finest form. But it’s the lovingly preserved furnishings and artwork, along with the costume display in an adjacent building, that convey the genius of her work, the power of her activism and the challenges of her struggle—as a woman married to a prominent, philandering artist, Diego Rivera, and as someone who contracted polio and who was hit by a bus in her teens and who dealt with disability her entire life. She not only rose above the occasion, but managed to live a full, colorful life and create timeless work in her brief forty-seven years.
I left a Frida fan.
Look for Newcity’s June 2021 print edition at over 300 Chicago-area locations this week or subscribe to the print edition at Newcityshop.com.
In this issue:
The Conversation: Claudia Flores makes the case for police reform
A Living Institution: The South Side Community Art Center is a force in African American Art
This Is Who I Am: A forty-year Frida Kahlo drought ends