Casa Azul: Museo Frida Kahlo

November 1, 2021

While here in CDMX, I will see the sites, explore, expand my awareness…try and glean tidbits from the culture.  However, if you read between the lines, this post is more about personal life experiences and, as such, some of our own as well.

When I travel, regardless to where, I always want to capture something that reminds me of the human story. Our commonalities!!  Sometimes the dynamic of nationality or a general lack of awareness hides the fact that many of us walk a path with the same vicissitudes.  Obviously being a citizen of the United States, I can’t help but to have been influenced by the proclamations of ‘American Exceptionalism’!

I do recognize the benefits I receive from that designation; however, one of the benefits of cultural travel is to shed that shade of lens.  Every country has its wondrous exceptionalism. Especially when the culture is full of those dynamics that shape identity outside of jobs, money, and other accumulations.  Interesting point for me, in certain countries the question always arises quickly….as in “what do you do”? Whereas in others or other nationalities, the question generally does not arise immediately!! Simply put, if we are what we do for a living…then there is a lot to learn about living!! When regardless…we can just be…

So in visiting Casa Azul – the museo for Frida Kahlo…

The museo is rather touristy of course, but only to the uninitiated.  The Art is quite interesting! It captures…we see it…But, it also provides an opportunity for us to see what is in her vision….what she experienced….her resolution….

As a friend of mine taught me, we also assess the art based upon our ability to see ourselves in it.  And naturally, how we relate to it and that which is around us…hence we can watch a person just stare a piece of Art for an extended time frame…over and over again…figuring…

This post isn’t full of original ideas!  In fact, I’m mostly organizing my thoughts around what I have read from “The Diary of Frida Kahlo” forward by Carlos Fuentes and “A Biography of Frida Kahlo” by Hayden Herrera.  Pulling back the veil, what is in her…

Some called her the ‘Priestess of the Temple’,

Diego wrote of her, “For what she lives is what she paints.  But no human experience, painful as it may be, becomes art by itself.  How did Kahlo transform personal suffering into art, not impersonal, but shared.”

The rise and fall of native then Aztec empires, colonization by Spain (Cortes), a dance with the French, the implications of Protestant and Catholic Organizations, various dynamics of Mexican governmental policy (Oligarchs), subjugation to U.S. policy, a dance with the French, Benito Juarez, and the rise of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, but still the dichotomy of Mexican Society…just to name a few…

Prior to her existent, but then bringing her into being with the mixture of European immigration with what is called the Mestizo mix…to her own direct predicaments of a void of loneliness, early polio, impalation from an accident, multiple miscarriages and surgeries, and the piercing all-encompassing dynamic of love…to name a few….yet with those characteristics of her cycle of life, she always found love and returned to it…epitomized it…

Some implied that she was the ‘Mexican of Mexicans’, changing her actual birthdate to coincide with the actual start of the Mexican Revolution…

Carlos Fuentes says, that “Mexico is a country made by its wounds” …. yet, here comes Frida…with the poetry of her life and her understanding expressed through her art….

Fuentes also says, … looking at how Frida saw herself over time…” gives us successive identities of a human being who is not yet, but who is becoming…”  who are we? Are we becoming or are we stagnant?  How was she able to grow without replicating the pain she experienced and to do as many do…justifying their existence by placing it on others…how did she do this?  Up to each of us to get an answer for ourselves…so that we can do the same…If anyone epitomizes in Art…that it isn’t what you see…it is the meaning within what you see…it is dear pato….(ofrenda de dias de los muertos on the left)….

Ahhh Frida Kahlo…quite the person to know….

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