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27.11.04

In Search Of Frida and Diego

Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño, Mexico CityOne of the nice things about having someone drive you around Mexico City is the chance to see all the sites as you travel from one destination to another. Billboards are everywhere, and transparent fabrics completely wrap some high-rise buildings emblazoned with super-large models selling all kinds of stuff. It's a vibrant city, to say the least.

Today we went to the south of the city to the Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño (see the Ionarts post on the Frida Kahlo Bicentenary, from June 15). Dolores was a wealthy, very well-connected patron, some say lover, of Diego Rivera. Her rambling estate was turned into a museum after her death and has a large collection of Rivera's paintings, prints, drawings and a few very nice large charcoal drawings. I can see Rivera at his best in these large fluid drawings, but I'm very excited about seeing some of his murals. The museum also has several of Frida Kahlo's paintings and drawings. It's a little unsettling to see her work here because of the relationship Dolores had with Diego. But who wasn't he supposed to be associated with? It's an art soap opera.

We also had time this day to see the Frida Kahlo Museum in the Casa azul, her former family home, which is also in the south of the city. The brightly painted house exudes a creative spirit. I like her work, but the story of her life, the accident and crippling pain, and the wild relationship with Diego are what set her apart. She's a great story and this is a must-stop on any tour.

More tomorrow.

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