Frida was so far ahead of her time. She has been called the first feminist. In spite of her intense suffering, she created powerful surrealist art, married a well-known, charismatic artist and socialized with many of the elite of her day. She had romantic affairs with both men and women. Her art focused largely on her suffering. Her honest self-portraits captured her inside and out. She was a strong woman who was not afraid to be exactly who she was.
Frida survived polio as a young child but it caused her to limp for the rest of her life, and when she was 18, she was riding in a bus when it crashed into a street tram, causing her spinal injuries that would cause her a lifetime of pain. Nothing could stop her.
“Feet,” she said, “what do I want them for if I have wings to fly?”
A lot of Frida’s pain was hidden beneath orthopedic corsets and beautiful dresses. The title of the exposition, Looks are deceiving, were Frida’s own words.
But it wasn’t just physical pain that caused Frida so much suffering. Her husband Diego Rivera was always unfaithful to her.
“I suffered two grave accidents in my life,” she once said, “One in which a streetcar knocked me down … The other accident is Diego.”
La Casa Azul, The Frida Kahlo museum
The Frida Kahlo museum is located in the beautiful residential Coyoacán neighborhood in Mexico City. It’s called La Casa Azul (the blue house) for the name her family gave it. La Casa Azul is where Frida lived her entire life, and it’s the best place to experience Frida as an artist, a personality and a person.
As of this writing, the general admission price is $200 Mexican pesos (about $20 USD) for all non-Mexicans. You’ll want to add $30 Mexican pesos for permission to take photos.
Check the museum’s website for the most up-to-date prices: www.museofridakahlo.org.mx/esp/1/el-museo/tu-visita/tarifas Be aware that the prices are listed in Mexican pesos. They also use the $ to represent their currency. The museum accepts credit and debit cards.
Your visit is self-guided tour and it begins with a walk through a small gallery of Frida’s work. From there, you tour the rooms of her house, including her art studio and the bedroom where the famous communist Leon Trotsky lived while in exile.
Finally, you leave the house and enter the huge courtyard. Your visit wil take between 2 and 3 hours. A taxi from el Zócalo took us 45 minutes and cost about $25. Always make sure the taxi meter is set to $0 when you step into the taxi.