Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

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12 October 2014
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

If you visit Mexico on vacation and come walk on 5th avenue in Playa del Carmen, you won’t be able to miss the images and portraits of Frida Kahlo, or even the paintings of Diego Rivera ! Frida is a Mexican icon. It is highly likely that you have seen the movie made about her life or the recent exhibition of her paintings in Paris. In any case, these two historic and iconic people deserve to be known.

Frida and Diego were married painters in the 20th century, originating from Mexico City. Frida was born in the neighborhood of Coyoacan-one of the most exclusive ones in the city. At 6 years of age she was diagnosed with polio, and the illness prevented her right leg from developing normally. As a teenager she was a bright student and was accepted into one of the best schools in Mexico. Unfortunately, at 19 years old as an art student, she was a victim of an accident between a bus and a trolley, where a metal bar pierced her from the abdomen to the vagina. Her right leg, her foot, pelvis, ribs, and spine were broken. The accident was a turning point in her life. She spent many months in bed and had a mirror placed above her on the ceiling like a poster. She painted many paintings, the majority of which were self-portraits inspired by being in bed and the pain caused by numerous operations and having to wear all kinds of corsets.
In 1928, she met Diego Rivera who she married a year later. They would never have children together due to her accident. Frida Kahlo expressed her suffering in her works. They are paintings that depict battles. Her whole life had been a constant battle. In her paintings she seems to be very close to her family and in this she shows much pain. Her colors and style were vivid and surreal.

Frida was not considered as much a talented painter as she was known for her clothes, her life, her involvement in politics, and for defending women’s freedoms and rights and respect for the indigenous people in Mexico.

As for Diego Rivera, he was known for his murals on the biggest Mexican monuments, and even in the world. He painted the entrance to the Rockfeller Center in New York. He was politically active, defending his paintings and the conditions of workers, even hosting his friend, the exiled Leon Trotsky in the late 30s.

Frida and Diego are a little less known in Europe, but there have recently been exhibitions there that have met with enormous success. To give you an idea of the value of their art, a Frida painting can sell for 5 million dollars!

If you visit Mexico City, do not hesitate to visit the “La Casa Azul” where Frida and Diego lived. It is a true wonder to behold; for the art, the garden house, etc…. You can now visit every room in the house and photos are allowed for a small fee. You can see her bed, her plaster corsets, and her workshop,…etc

I also invite you to go to San Angel, also in Mexico, to visit one of Diego’s places, an impressive loft of modernity for its time with its impressive cactus hedge.

We invite you to discover more about Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, two mysterious yet popular characters who lived extraordinary lives.

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