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Diego Rivera Tried To Hide Frida’s Letters To Her Lovers, Here’s A Look Into What Some Of Them Said

You knew her as the revolutionary, the artist, the writer, and even as Mattel’s weirdest attempt to turn a communist into a Barbie doll, but do you know Frida Kahlo’s hit list of sexual conquests is inspiring, to say the least? For decades many have speculated that the artist known for her paintings, was also a lover like no other. Frida may just have proved it was true with her collection of lovers from around the world. Let’s get down to business with who the revolutionary herself fell for, both true and rumored.

1. Diego Rivera

Credit @olgakardasidi / Instagram

Picture teenage Frida, hungry for art and revolution, joining the Mexican Communist Party in 1927. She reads Marx, she looks at the poverty in her country and abroad, and then an older man – an art teacher – notices her. Diego Rivera, almost twice her age, is a fellow Mexican artist and painter. He is also a leftist. A passionate and volatile relationship begins. Just over a year later, they are wed. Abusive, temperamental, and unfaithful, the older man begins a familiar story many young women know. She was too young for him, and eventually outgrew him, but their relationship remains the longest one associated with Frida to this day.

Credit @tl150 / Instagram

Years of cheating, traveling, and affairs dogged the couple. Frida herself became interested in women alongside men. Diego was prone to temper tantrums and young impressionable women who are joining the art scene. The couple divorced in 1939, only to remarry in 1940. A second divorce followed shortly after.

This drama remains Frida’s most well-known romantic relationship, though years worth of other lovers would affect her life, politics, and art.

2. Nickolas Murray

Credit: @m.fridakhalo_ / Instagram

Getting married young wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and it doesn’t take long for Frida to realize Diego heart (and other parts) have wandered. Frida too decided she had a right to find a little something-something on the side, and in 1931 she met the acclaimed Hungarian photographer Nickolas Murray while he was vacationing in Mexico. Murray had just divorced his first voice and hopes that Frida would agree to leave Diego Rivera and become his next wife. When Frida made it clear she wanted a lover, not a husband, Murray withdrew from their affair, which lasted on and off for ten years. They remained good friends until Frida’s death in 1954.

3. Isamu Noguchi

 Credit: @noguchimuseum / Instagram

As the years with Diego went on, Frida caught wind of one infidelity too far – her husband was having an affair with her younger sister Cristina. Frida and Diego separated, and though they later reconciled, they agreed to live separate lives. It was during this time that Frida met and fell in love with Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese American sculptor traveling through Mexico. Though their affair was brief, it was passionate and the two remained friends until Frida’s death.

4. Leon Trotsky

Credit: @drjorgenunez / Instagram

Frida and Diego remain dedicated communists regardless of their relationship turmoils, and when the Spanish Civil War breaks out in 1936, the two join the Mexican section of the Trotskyite International Communist League. They back Mexicans fighting back against Franco’s forces. Frida and Diego go so far as to help gain Leon Trotsky and his wife asylum in Mexico when they are exiled from the Soviet Union.

Trotsky and Frida grow very close and engage in an affair behind their spouses’ backs. You have to get it to her – how many of us manage to smuggle our faves into our own country for political asylum and then hook up with them? 

5. Dolores del Río

credit: @latinosinfilm / Instagram

Frida has been tied to Dolores del Río, though rumor and hearsay are all we have left of this chapter in history. The two were seen together and were friends, with Frida eventually painting for del Río on commission. The intimate relationship may have been more or less than we suspect, but is it hard to tell due to the stigma tied to homosexuality in Hollywood, then and now. Del Río was the first major crossover Mexican actress, making waves in American media as a beautiful starlet.

6. Chavela Vargas

Credit: @virginia.perez.carmona / Instagram

Frida’s time with Murray with dotted with other important affairs, including one with Chavela Vargas. Vargas with known for singing ranchera music while dressed as a man, often singing in a low raspy voice. She was not shy about her sexuality at the time, and it was generally known she was having relationships with women.  Though Vargas did not officially come out as a lesbian until she was 81, her autobiography also dedicated an entire chapter to an affair with Frida.

Credit @_chavelavargas / Instagram

In a letter reported to be written by Frida Kahlo to poet Carlos Pellicer, she writes of meeting Vargas:

Today I met Chavala Vargas. An extraordinary woman, a lesbian, and what’s more, I desire her. I do not know if she felt what I did. But I believe she is a woman who is liberal enough that if she asked me, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to undress in front of her…Was she a gift sent to me from heaven?

Maybe, Frida, maybe. Vargas would go on to describe as “my gran amor” for the rest of her life.

7. Georgia O’Keeffe

Credit: @repaint.history / Instagram

Though letters between Frida and Georgia O’Keeffe are very intimate, the ones Frida candidly wrote about O’Keeffe hide much more tantalizing secrets that suggest a romantic relationship between the two. One such piece of evidence is a letter Frida wrote on O’Keeffe that stated:

O’Keeffe was in the hospital for three months, she went to Bermuda for a rest. She didn’t make love to me at that time, I think on account of her weakness. Too bad.

Credit @_chavelavargas / Instagram

Despite O’Keeffe’s famously sexual paintings, androgynous looks, and independent manner, her close friend and neighbor Maria Chabot and her former housekeeper Jerrie Newsom flatly refute that O’Keeffe ever had any sexual relationships with women.

So did Frida just have an awful crush or a bright hot affair with a love that dare not speak its name?

8. Josephine Baker

Credit: @queerasfact / Tumblr

While in Paris in 1939, Frida had the chance to meet entertainment icon Josephine Baker. Rumors have circulated across the internet in our modern day and age that the two were lovers, but no citation in either woman’s historical accounts corroborates this dreamy, albeit poorly sourced, rumor. At best, we have historical accounts of both women being romantically and sexually interested in women in general, but nothing in specific linking them to each other.

All we have is this tantalizing photo and some fan fiction added for drama in the Frida biopic starring Salma Hayek.

9. Herself, in drag

Credit: @coloreader / Instagram

Frida was known to dress dapperly as a man on occasion, and there are even photographs of her in full suit with family members. The untold number of lovers and crushes she could have piled up while posing in a suit and unrecognizable is far beyond what we might know.

Credit @fridakahlo / Instagram

In the end, we just have a lot of burning questions after reading up on our favorite gay Latin American revolutionary communist artist. Was she all over that Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower? Did Josephine Baker dance with her secretly cheek-to-cheek in the weak Paris moonlight? Did Trotsky get his butt handed to him by his wife when she learned about revolutionary studies he was sharing with Frida in bed?

The world may never know.

But that’s never stopped us from speculating, and hey – we’re still allowed to dream! Let us know if there’s someone else you suspect might be on this list.

A Large Mural of Frida Kahlo in Traditional Mexican Dress Has Just Been Unveiled and She’s Never Looked More Electric

Culture

A Large Mural of Frida Kahlo in Traditional Mexican Dress Has Just Been Unveiled and She’s Never Looked More Electric

@findac / Intagram

Frida Kahlo is the most recognizable Mexican painter of the past century. That bold brow, traditional Mexican garb and piercing stare are undeniably Frida in a way that makes her completely unique among other artists. She’s also one of the most widely portrayed Mexican figures of all time. Her image adorns everything from tee-shirts and jewelry to murals and makeup. Her image is so recognizable that flower crowns, red lipstick, and ungroomed eyebrows will forever have an association with the artist.

To add to the Frida imagery in our world, a new mural featuring the famous artista has just been unveiled in Mexico and she has never looked better.

Painted by Irish artist Fin DAC, the mural portrays Frida Kahlo in bold primary colors and traditional Mexican dress.

Twitter / @la_linea

The artwork is named “Magdalena” and is located in Guadalajara — the capital of Jalisco. In the mural, Frida is represented with a full-body image, hands placed together in front of her as if in prayer. Vibrant flowers and butterflies adorn her like a crown in true Frida fashion.

She wears a huipil (a multicolored blouse traditionally found in southern Mexico), a pink shawl and a long blue skirt accentuated with various-sized skulls. The ten-story mural also depicts the artist with a blue mask across her eyes. This is artist Fin DAC’s signature that he adds to all of his pieces and works to enhance the dark stare that Frida gives viewers.

The artist responsible for this mural has lots of experience creating urban art in Latin America.

Twitter / @BrasilEFE

Between 2012 and 2017, Fin DAC visited Latin America several times. He created six murals total in Colombia and Brazil during that time. This is his first time creating art in Mexico. The artistic is known for his style — called “Urban Aesthetics” —  and has made art on the streets of five different continents. His images also include women dressed in the native costume of their countries and are finished with his signature mask.

The artist explained the reasoning for his attention to national traditions to Mexanist. He said:

“No matter the culture and nationality for me, I am more interested in the type of clothing typical of each place, each country and each place has something to offer and show in this sense.”

For Fin DAC, the choice to depict Frida on this wall was an easy one. The artist explained that her own artwork always sought to exalt the women it depicted — much like his own. Frida’s own famous way of dressing always incorporated traditional Mexican costuming too so the decision to paint the famous Mexican for this piece was “almost obvious” to the painter.

The artist was invited to create this mural as part of celebrations for the Despertares Impulsa dance festival.

Instagram / @findac

Created by famous Mexican dancer, Isaac Hernández, the Despertares Impulsa dance festival began as a way to gather and stimulate the creative industry in Mexico. With the backing of the Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts, the event offers performances, workshops, lectures, master classes and meet and greets. The festival also offers opportunities for free auditions to different international dance companies.

Fin DAC was invited to create this piece by the director of Despertares Impulsa. The image was painted on a wall facing Chapultepec Avenue — a busy street that receives lots of traffic in the urban area. Fin DAC choose this location purposefully for this reason.

“When you see a spectacular advertising pole,” he said, “You see an image trying to sell you something you don’t need, but it makes you feel like you want it. (On the other hand) when you see a piece of art on the street it brings you a moment of happiness and peace, nothing from the advertising you see will make you happy, but art can definitely do it.

The mural was officially unveiled on July 15th, 2019 as part of the festival’s celebrations.

Twitter / @findac

The unveiling comes at a time of year significant to Frida fans. July 6th was the 112th anniversary of the artist’s birth. The 65th anniversary of her passing also happened this past month on the 13th of July. As such, this beautiful mural is an appropriate gift to honor the late Mexican artist.

This Vogue Exhibit — Featuring A Gorgeous Portrait Of Yalitza Aparicio — Is Now Open In Mexico City

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This Vogue Exhibit — Featuring A Gorgeous Portrait Of Yalitza Aparicio — Is Now Open In Mexico City

Any designer will tell you that art and fashion often go hand-in-hand. Through the ages, art has reflected so much about society and history solely through the clothing and architecture depicted by oils and pastels. From the runways of Paris and Milan to the pages of VOGUE, the composition, color, and forms of the latest fashions often show us that they are equivalent to the most iconic works of art created by the most masterful fine artists.

Now, Vogue is yet again showing us the relationship between art and fashion with its brand new “Vogue Like a Painting” exhibit.

Twitter / @mamiyolis

The exhibition is being shown at Mexico City’s historic Franz Mayer Museum from now until September 15, 2019. The sample of 65 images is a representation of the greatest photographs to manifest in VOGUE during its past 20 years as a publication.  The magazine’s archives were thoroughly examined to find the most impactful, most artistically composed and most striking pictures to be taken by photographers during their time at VOGUE.

Over the last two decades, some of the most iconic photographers ever have collaborated with the publication. Annie Leibovitz, Paolo Roversi, Tim Walker, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Steven Klein, Sheila Metzner, Cecil Beaton, and Edward Steichen are some of the many big name artists who have captured moments for VOGUE. They have contributed easily some of the most recognizable images that the magazine has printed and their work will be available to view at the “Vogue Like a Painting” event.

Karla Martinez de Salas, editorial director of Vogue Mexico and Latin America, had this to say about the art exhibition:

“I have always believed in the power of images, in that inexplicable magic of telling stories without words that allow us to inspire and make us dream. From a painting signed by Goya, to an image photographed by Tim Walker or Paolo Roversi, it is these beautiful visual records of fashion and culture that are truly treasured in our memory and heart.”

What all of these images have in common are distinct characteristics that are traditionally attributed to paintings and other works of fine art.

Twitter / @museofranzmayer

Their narratives, details and subject matter are approached the same way a master would address a canvas. At first glance, some of these pictures don’t even look like photographs. The stylistic techniques used to capture the subject are implemented as authentically as possible — staying true to the artistic elements artists are trained in.

The compositions also invoke comparisons to different artists and art periods. Split into genres like portraiture and landscapes, artistic movements like Renaissance painting, Rococo art, and even Pre-Raphaelite works are mirrored by these photos. The images in “Vogues Like a Painting” evoke masters such as Magritte, Degas, Dalí, Botticelli and Zurbarán. Their use of light, space, color and figure drawing are mimicked by the pictures on display — making these pieces completely at home in the museum.

Of these breath-taking pictures, a gorgeous portrait of Yalitza Aparicio can also be viewed.

Twitter / @VogueMexico

This image of Yalitza Aparicio comes from a spread by the photographers Santiago & Mauricio and was published back in January 2019. The actress was the first Indigenous woman to appear on the cover of VOGUE. Displayed in the “Vogue Like a Painter” exhibit, the portrait draws comparisons to Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” The steady stare, the use of light and dark and the positioning of her body is reminiscent of the mysterious woman in the Italian master’s piece. We can even see the influence of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits reflected in the photograph of the “Roma” star.

Debbie Smith, the curator of the “Vogue Like a Picture” exhibit spoke with VOGUE MEXICO about the inclusion of Aparicio’s portrait and how historic the actress’ fashion shoot was for the magazine, fashion and art.

“I was so shocked by the cover of Yalitza, it ‘s one of the most important things that Vogue has done in recent decades … It was impeccable. I have the file saved in my mind.”

As if these beautiful pictures weren’t enough, the exhibition also includes two dresses by Alexander McQueen — one of them never before displayed — as well as another three gowns by Comme des Garçons, Christian Lacroix and Nina Ricci. These pieces were borrowed especially for the “Vogue Like a Painting” exhibit. If you can get to Mexico City for this show, definitely give it a look. It is without a doubt one of the most historic mixtures of art and fashion to be seen today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twdG7xRE2TY

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