Casa azul "The blue house"
Written by sara ashley angelucci
Her iconic thick jet black hair, monobrow, stoic look- frida is one of the most recognizable artists in the world. Standing as an iconic symbol for women and power. Her turbulent life has become a bit of a fascination for retold film, literature and merchandise. On a visit to Mexico City this past march, I traveled to Frida Kahlos home where she resided throughout her childhood and adult life. A beautiful colbalt blue house marks the corner of two cross streets in mexico city’, coyoacan neighborhood. The house of frida kahlo and her husband diego Rivera known as La Casa azul (the blue house). Casa azul is now left as though Frida and diego still live there, set up just the way it would have been if Frida was alive today.
Kahlo has been described by art historian Nancy Deffebach as someone who “Created herself as a subject who was female, mexican, modern and powerful” - Frida used her paintings to question mexican society and the construction of female identity within it. Her status as a powerful feminist icon was reflected.
Frida endured a horrific bus accident that rendered her in a full body cast. At this point in her life she decided to give up her study of medicine and paint. Frida painted from her pain in most of her work, drawing from her own personal experiences portraying her physical and psychological wounds. She is quoted saying “I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” Deeply influenced by her mexican culture, she used bright colors and dramatic symbolism.
Frida met her husband when she approached him asking him about advice for her career, as he was a very successful mexican painter. He recognized her talent and encouraged her development as an artist-shortly after they started an intimate relationship and married in 1929. The marriage was firey due to both of their extramarital affairs. Openly bi sexual Kahlo had affairs with women and men and left diego jealous. Frida died on July 13 1954 she wrote in her dairy a few days before her death “I hope the exit is joyful, and I hope never to return - Frida”
People would categorize Fridas artwork as surrealism and she would defend herself saying that she painted from her reality not her dreams. But the dream like quality that frida has is how she pieces together her thoughts through imagery, collaging symbolism, analogies and connections through her deliberate subject matter to convey her emotions and story telling.