Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are two reasons why many tourists visit Mexico City. Seeing that it was Mother´s day yesterday, and the fact that both my mother and mother-in-law asked who Frida Kahlo was, when I mentioned her name, this blog is for both of them, not only to inform them about Mexican artists, but also to say, Happy Mothers´ day, Dirk and I love you and miss you both!
Frida Kahlo is a mexican artist who is known for her self portraits that show the pain and emotions that she struggled with during her lifetime. She used bright colours in her paintings, despite the somber underlying symbolism of her work. As a child she had polio, which caused her right leg to be shorter than her left leg. When she was eighteen she was in a trolley car accident that caused an iron handrail to pierce through her body and left her with broken ribs, a broken spinal column and a broken pelvis, amongst many other injuries. She started painting during the months that she spent in bed, recovering. Her injuries left her with a lot of pain for the rest of her life.
Diego Rivera was already an established muralist when the two met each other – he was working on a mural in the public school that she was attending. The two artists had a stormy marriage, with both having numerous affairs. They got divorced after Diego cheated on Frida with Frida´s sister, but they remarried after a year of being seperated.
There are many murals by Diego Rivera on display all over Mexico City. In Parque Chapultapec there is a museum Jardin del Agua that displays a unique mural by Diego. Outside the museum is a sculpture also by Diego Rivera, of the Water God, Tlaloc:
The name of the mural is ´The Origin of life´. It shows water as a source of life and pleasure. On the floor molecules are painted that evolve into different forms of life such as fish and frogs. The floor was originally covered with water, but the water cause too much damage to the painting, so it was drained. The one wall of the mural (of which I have no pictures here) integrates sluice gates with the artwork.
The organ pictured above plays music that reminded me of waves breaking on a shore. It was difficult to get to the sculpture and museum, because it is in the second part of Parque Chapultapec, which is not as easily accessed as the main part of the park. I actually tried to get to the fountain on two previous days, but were unable to reach it. The long walk and endurance in finding directions to the sculpture eventually did pay off, because now I have found my favourite artwork in Mexico City!