Saturday, February 17, 2007

cascada post 6

Frieda and Diego

In 'el centro' of Xalapa is a park called 'el Parque Juárez'. It is usually filled with people milling about, or sitting on benches, or buying balloons for their kids, or food from various vendors. There is restaurant, a movie theater, an art gallery and a very nice view. Check it out if you can. If you go down the steps on the west side of the park there is a street and there you will find another gallery, possibly called the 'Diego Rivera gallery', which for the last couple of months has had a show about Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo. Picture taking is not allowed inside, but outside I snapped this shot:

That was invitation enough for me. Inside was a very nice exhibit with lots of works by both Frieda and Diego as well as a wealth of historical information. I won't try to give you any details here, just a flavor of those two Mexican artists who had interesting, if turbulent and painful lives. First here is a clip about Frieda which, if you click on it, will take you to the site where it came from and more information about both of these artists and there lives together, and apart.

Next, here is a 1985 image by Lucía Maya whose interpretation I leave for you to ponder:

Here is an honest photo of Frieda that I rather like:

This is a painting done by Frieda in 1931 in honor of her (first) wedding to Diego. I think it was done a couple of years after their marriage:

Here is a photo of Diego and Frieda taken at about the same time by Carl Van Vechten:

And here is one of many troubled and troubling self-portrait, 'The two Friedas':

Lest you thought border issues were new, here is that topic from 1932:

Now comes a painting which may surprise you, because it was done by Diego Rivera:

Diego Rivera - House over Bridge 1909

It was done very early in his career and bears little resemblance to his later work, such as his giant murals or his simple stylized pictures of people such as this:

Diego Rivera - Lo Molendera 1924

This last image is a 1914 portrait of Diego Rivera by Modigliani

In 2002 there was an excellent movie called simply 'Frieda' which portrayed the troubled life and time of Frieda Kahlo. Frieda was played by Salma Hayek, nominated for Best Actress Oscar that year. Diego was played by Alfred Molina and the movie was directed by Julie Taymor. The story is interesting, compelling and accurately told. I have heard that it was not well regarded in Mexico, but I don't know why.


LT Garcia said...

I wonder if it was because the film was in English? I felt that decision, which probably exposed it to a broader US audience, nevertheless took something away from the authenticity of the film. Still, I do love that film.

- Laura Garcia

Anonymous said...

Great information and photos - well done -

Juan Calypso

JB said...

Thanks Juan.

Laura, I think you are on target with your reasons. Maybe some feel it should have been made as a Mexican film. It would be nice to hear Mexican views.

tourguide said...

JB... Frida( Her name was Freida, but she thought it sounded too German & didnt want to be associated in any way with Nazi Germany).. went to Prep school in Mexico City, Colegio de San Idelfonso... a building that now houses the first Murals of Diego Rivera, Jean Charlotte, Orozco and Siquieros.
One of her closest classmates was Miguel Lira of Tlaxcala, she visited him several times in Tlaxcala and gave him some of her earliest works of Art, also she painted his portrait. All of which can now be seen in the museo de Arte de Tlaxcala. Also amongst other artifacts is a Russion peasant dress that was given to Frida by Leon Trotsky. Leon and Frida were putting horns (cuernos) on Diego as they say here in Mexico when a loved one is cheating on someone. Of course Diego didn't idly stand by he was putting cuernos on Frida at the same time. Trotskys wife found out and insisted on leaving Frida and Diegos house where they had been staying. Moving to another house that was not as secure as Diegos place probably was one of the factors that got Trotsky assassinated.

JB said...

Thank you tourguide. The additional information you provide is most welcome. I hope others will read the comments so they see it too. You sound like a real tourguide :) . Are you?

tourguide said...

Sure am can find me on vivaveracruz also.
I'm in the middle of a renewal course for the State of Tlaxcalas Tourism Dep't. Guides have to take a new course every 5 years to keep their credentials updated.