While in Mexico City this past July, my family and I had the pleasure of visiting Frida Kahlo's home- it had been turned into a museum by her husband, Diego Rivera, after her death.
What a dream that house was.
I had always admired Frida Kahlo, and I found her work odd but deeply meaningful. However, I really felt that I got to know the woman so much better as I explored her home. Each room had its fair share of personality and intrigue, however, my two favorite rooms were the kitchen/dining area and the studio/library. I only wish that I had been able to pick up each piece of her vast ceramic collection in that kitchen. It seemed that every object in the house burst with color and character. As for the studio, I could have sat in there for hours. Located on the second floor of the house, the studio has huge windows that overlook the plush garden in the courtyard. Roaming that space, my admiration for Kahlo only intensified. Several cabinets are filled with hundreds and hundreds of gorgeously bound books. The titles are mainly in Spanish and English, and the volumes cover topics ranging from politics, philosophy, and art history to geography, biographies, and fiction- I found myself fantasizing about sitting in on a conversation with Kahlo and her peers, wondering what sorts of debates and musings they took part in as they gathered for meals.
When my mom and I returned home, there happened to be a Frida Kahlo/Nickolas Muray exhibit that had opened at the Gilcrease Museum while we were gone. We decided to go check out the collection of the photographer's work, which includes some well-known images of the artist. The exhibit has many portraits Muray took of Kahlo in her day to day life, and the photos span several years. In fact- the two were lovers for 10 years and had an affair filled with despair and passion. Several love letters exchanged between the two are on display at the exhibit.
It truly is remarkable to look into her eyes in some of these photos- you can almost sense her presence. Her gaze is striking, full of emotion, and some of the moments captured in the photos feel too intimate, as if it was only meant for her and Nickolas to share.
If you get a chance, I highly recommend seeing this particular exhibit, and it runs until September 11. Again, this is only a photography exhibit and does not have any of Kahlo's work in it. However, you will certainly gain insight into the complex life that she led.
For more information about the exhibit, visit https://gilcrease.org/exhibitions/kahlo/