Frida y Diego en la Casa AzulNadie sabrá jamás cómo quiero a Diego. No quiero que nada lo hiera, que nada lo moleste y le quite energía que él necesita para vivir, vivir como a él le dé la gana, Pintar, ver amar, comer, dormir, sentirse solo, sentirse acompañado; pero nunca quisiera que estuviera triste. Si yo tuviera salud quisiera dársela toda, si yo tuviera juventud toda la podría tomar, No soy solamente la madre, soy el embrión. el germen, la primera célula que- en potencia- lo engendró. Soy él desde las más primitivas y más antiguas células, que con el tiempo se volvieron él. Cada momento él es mi niño, mi niño nacido, cada ratito, diario, de mí misma.
Frida Kahlo’s love for Diego Rivera was as unconditional as her love for art. Their relationship — filled with loss, sickness and infidelities — was equal parts passionate and confusing.
In a rare video posted by a Frida Kahlo fan page on Facebook, we see Frida and Diego spend time together, caressing and kissing each other in Frida’s Casa Azul. The video was shot by photographer Nikolas Murray, and in the home clip a narrator recites an excerpt from Frida’s diary, in which she explains her unconditional love for Diego:
“Nobody will ever know how much I love Diego. I don’t want anything to hurt him, nothing to bother him and rob him of the energy he needs for living — for living as he likes, for painting, seeing, loving, eating, sleeping, being by himself, being with someone. But I’d never want him to be sad. If I had good health, I’d give him all of it. If I had youth, he could take it all…”
An exhibition on the esteemed Mexican artists, lovers, and icons Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is coming to North Carolina. On October 26, the North Carolina Museum of Art will open the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. The anticipated exhibition will include paintings, drawings, photography and film that aims to capture the 20th century artists’ bodies of work as well as their friendships and conflicts with political figures and their own impassioned and tumultuous personal relationships.
“Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection will emphasize a remarkable chapter in art history that is at once Mexican and global,” museum director Valerie Hillings told the ArtfixDaily, a publication covering curated art news.
Today, their tempestuous relationship is as famous as some of the artists’ most popular works.
Kahlo and Rivera met in June 1928 at a party thrown by photographer Tina Modotti. At the time, a young, bold Kahlo asked Rivera to look at her paintings to see if he thought that she had enough talent to succeed. Rivera, impressed by her work, later spoke about that encounter, saying, “It was obvious to me that this girl was an authentic artist.” The pair soon started a relationship, though Rivera was 20 years older than Kahlo and already had two common-law wives. It was the start to a messy, atypical romance.
Marrying at a civil ceremony at the town hall of Coyoacán in 1929, despite the disapproval of Kahlo’s mother, their marriage included immense heartbreak.
Over the years, the couple experienced and fought over everything from failed abortions and miscarriages to ailing physical health, to extra-marital affairs, including same-gender relationships from the gender-bending Kahlo. In 1939, the couple even divorced, only to remarry a year later with little change in their passionate yet rocky affair. Aside from the infidelity, rage, and distress that brewed in their personal relationship, the pair was often also at odds with political leaders as well. As communists, the revolutionary nature of Rivera’s murals, as well as Kahlo’s self-portraits and party affiliations, often put them at odds with political and religious leaders.
“Diego Rivera’s personality, politics, and monumental, social realist murals made him a celebrity during his lifetime. While he once overshadowed his equally talented wife, Frida Kahlo’s fame has far outstripped her husband’s in the years since her death,” Hillings added.
The pieces presented at the exhibition come from the long-time collection of Jacques and Natasha Gelman. According to ArtfixDaily, the Gelmans became Mexican citizens in 1942 and at the time started amassing Mexican art. Their collection includes Mexican modernists, like Kahlo and Rivera, who became friends with the Gelmans, as well as their compatriots Rufino Tamayo, David Alfaro Siqueiros and more.
The exhibition was organized by the Vergel Foundation and MondoMostre in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura (INBAL). It is a joint project between the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. It includes research from the Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.
The North Carolina Museum of Art is presenting the exhibition alongside the Luces y Sombras: Images of Mexico | Photographs from the Bank of America Collection.
Together, the fall exhibitions “celebrate these artists’ culture of origin as well as the diverse sources of influence they drew upon in creating their distinctive oeuvres,” Hillings said.
While the museum is commemorating the famed Mexican couple, not everyone is excited about the pair’s legacy. The fall exhibition comes weeks after the new U.S. ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau criticized Kahlo for her support of Marxism, stirring controversy on social media. The ambassador, who was appointed by President Donald Trump and sworn in last month, took to Twitter last week after visiting the late Kahlo’s home, La Casa Azul, in Mexico City.
“I admire her free and bohemian spirit, and she rightly became an icon of Mexico around the whole world. What I do not understand is her obvious passion for Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism. Didn’t she know about the horrors committed in the name of that ideology?” he wrote in Spanish.
His comments immediately drew backlash from thousands of people.
Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection runs at the North Carolina Museum of Art through January 19, 2020. To recognize the native language and cultural heritage of the artists in the exhibition, gallery information will be provided in both English and Spanish.
Tickets are already available for members but will be sold to nonmembers starting on September 17.
Relations between the US and Mexico haven’t exactly been super warm over the last few years. Thanks, in part, to Trump’s often inhumane (and likely illegal) policies targeting migrants, many Mexicans don’t have the greatest impression of the US right now.
Although the working relationship between Trump and his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, hasn’t suffered too much – at least not publicly – that could all change after a recent gaffe by the recently appointed US Ambassador to Mexico.
The ambassador was touring the famous Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s longtime home, when he shared some choice words about the iconic Mexican artist.
The newly appointed United States ambassador to Mexico has caused a fierce social media debate after taking aim at iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo for her “passion for Marxism”.
Following a visit on Sunday to Kahlo’s house, which has been turned into a museum after her death in 1954, Cristopher Landau sent out a tweet asking if the acclaimed artist had not been aware of atrocities committed in the name of that ideology.
“I admire her free and bohemian spirit, and she rightly became an icon of Mexico around the whole world,” the US ambassador, who assumed office last month, wrote in Spanish. He then added “What I do not understand is her obvious passion for Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism. Didn’t she know about the horrors committed in the name of that ideology?”
The ambassador basically tried to mansplain the politics of Marxism and Leninism.
In a now viral tweet, the ambassador questioned her political views and whether she truly understood the meaning behind them. Many Mexicans, and people around the world, rightfully took offense to that.
Frida Kahlo was a very political person who was very engaged in the Mexican political scene. She was well tuned in to the inner workings of Communism and Marxism, so for this man to question this powerful woman’s understanding of politics rubbed many people the wrong way.
So what were Frida Kahlo’s political beliefs?
Frida was both a feminist and a socialist. She was a trailblazer not just for women, but for LGBTI people and people with disabilities. After a tram accident changed the course of her life, she struggled with and embraced her multiple identities, which can be seen in her self-portraits, making up the bulk of her work.
Frida joined the Mexican Communist Party when she was in her 20s but left when her husband Diego Rivera, also a famous artist, was expelled. After the expulsion, Frida and Diego went to the US, and it was here that they began associating with the Left Opposition headed by Leon Trotsky.
Mexicans flooded Twitter with some pretty savage responses to the ambassador’s insult.
His tweet prompted fury from Mexicans online.
Many criticised the US or its long history of interfering in the internal affairs of Latin America and other countries around the globe, often to counter socialist governments.
“In the name of fighting that ideology, the US killed children in Vietnam by bombing entire villages and supporting dictatorships throughout Latin America,” said one Twitter user.
Many Mexicans blasted the US for its long history of interfering in the internal affairs of Latin America and other countries around the globe, often to counter socialist governments.
“How many deaths have caused by US interventions? Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada, Vietnam, Korea, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Operation Condor … and we don’t talk about the extermination of Native Americans or the economy of slavery,” A Fuertes wrote on Twitter.
Another user on Twitter wrote: “In the name of fighting that ideology, the US killed children in Vietnam by bombing entire villages and supporting dictatorships throughout Latin America,” said user @Quetzalcoaltl1.
Even the Mexican Communist party got in on the debate.
The Mexican Communist Party weighed into the debate, saying: “Ambassador Landau, Comrade Frida was consistent with humanism, the search for democracy and freedom of Mexico’s workers and people, and therefore she was a Marxist-Leninist, and of course Stalin’s admirer. Don’t show your ignorance any more, imitating Trump.”
While some shared her works paired with her quotes showing what she really thought when it came to politics and life.
For many, simply holding Marxist and Leninist views doesn’t equal negative politics. For many, those political views offer hope and signify community, respect, and society.
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