If you know me, you know that I really dig Frida Kahlo. She was a badass artist who walked her own path, creating beauty despite some terrible obstacles that were thrown into her life. Her art portrays not only a reflection of self, but an exploration of identity, gender, class, and race in 20th century Mexican society. Frida used her art as her voice – she wielded her talent to draw attention to important social issues, and is now recognized as one of Mexico’s most important figures. I idolize this woman, and made sure to swing by the Fridaa Khalo Museum while I was in Mexico City!La Casa Azul, ‘The Blue House’ in English, was Frida’s private universe, filled with art, color, and life.It is here she lived out her life with Diego Rivera, another influential Mexican artist.Frida was born in La Casa Azul, situated in the Colonia del Carmen neighborhood of Mexico City. It is where she created her most famous work, and here she died. After her death, her husband Diego Rivera donated the house and its contents in order to turn it into a museum in Frida’s honor.The house is a stunning example of how wealthy bohemian artists lived in the 20th century.Each room is bursting with color and art, filled with expression and fun.But the most captivating pieces in the house are the ones Frida created. Dozens of self portraits and still lifes . . .All meticulously hung throughout La Casa Azul.
My favorite room in the house was her art studio, which looked out over a private, lush-green courtyard.A work desk with views that an artist’s dreams are made of! Perhaps the most somber room in the house is Frida’s bed, where she spent her final days. When Kahlo was six years old she contracted polio, which made her right leg shorter and thinner than the left. She had a rough recovery, and spent many months at home. She fell behind in her studies, and was bullied by her classmates. Frida had difficulty coping with the harassment from her peers, and this paired with her disability resulted in her reclusive personality, but also spawned her passion for art. Almost a decade later, Kahlo was riding home on a bus that collided with a streetcar. The accident killed several people and gravely wounded Kahlo, who agin spent months confined to a bed recovering from fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis, two broken legs, and a broken collarbone. These injuries caused her constant pain for the rest of her life, and eventually killed her.Although she had dreamed of becoming aa doctor, her injuries made the career impossible. Kahlo then considered a career as a medical illustrator, which combined her passions for science and art. She again began creating art, a calling for which she had a natural aptitude. Not long after, she joined the Mexican Communist Party and was introduced to a circle of political activists and artists, including Diego Rivera, who would go on to become her husband. Frida and Diego built a beautiful life together – traveling the world, creating art, and playing a large role in the Mexican Communist Party.
How do I know all of this? From my handy, dandy audio tour!After a tour through Kahlo’s blue house, I found myself outside wandering through the gardens.The space was lush – filled with sculptures, exotic plants . . . and tourists!If you want to visit La Casa Azul next time you’re in Mexico City, make sure to book in advance! The lines wrap around the house, and those are just the people WITH a ticket! Each ticket comes with an allocated time that you have to be there for. Entrance is around €12 and it’s an extra €2 to take photos inside, which is totally worth it! There are also audio guides, which I highly recommend, and did a wonderful job of detailing Frida’s life, art, and 20th century Mexican culture.
Overall it’s an experience I’d highly recommend – it provides a glimpse into Frida’s personal life, as well as a look at some of her most notable art. You can find more on the museum’s website here.