Happy birthday to you, my dearest Frida. Today is your 106th birthday and I think we should celebrate it with chimichangas!
It´s crazy how much the world that you once knew has changed. But I have some time now so let me catch you up on what has happened in the past 60 years that you would find interesting.
Diego (Rivera), your beloved “Panzon”, died in 1957 from heart failure, only three years after you ditched life on Earth. In his autobiography he said that he only realized when it was too late that the best part of his life was his love for you. I suppose he definitely hadn´t realized that when you caught him sleeping with your sister, Maria!
Remember how you were a communist supporter? You might remember Stalin died in 1953, a year before you did, and his Soviet Union went on to become a pretty big and powerful thing until its collapse in 1991. Now modern day Russian is technically democratic but you should see the guy who´s running the country! His name is Vladimir Putin, not sexy at all like your former Russian lover, Leon Trotsky, and he´s basically a dictator (if we´re calling a spade a spade). He does what he wants when he wants, he annexed a bit of Ukrainian terrority out of the blue, he has been recently accused of firing nuclear arms by the rest of the world, but this birthday card could turn into a whole book if I kept going into these sorts of details.
Your beautiful Blue House, where you were born, lived and died is still intact in Coyoacan. Masses of people line up every day to get a glimpse of the place where the great Frida Kahlo spent her days, as it has been turned into a museum.
Oh and I almost forgot, I wanted to ask you about a little story I was told last week when I went to the studio of one of Mexico´s greatest contemporary artists, Pedro Reyes. We were having a little chat about the exhibition that we currently have on view at the Tamayo Museum (where I work) by the great Japanese-American sculptor, Isamu Noguchi. Don´t play dumb, you know who he is. He studied under Brancusi in New York and created the most fascinating playgrounds. Turns out you had an affair with him!
Bad girl Frida!
I had no idea… why didn´t you tell me? I was told that it was Diego himself who invited Noguchi to come to Mexico in 1935 to join a group of notorious muralists that would intervene the interior of the Abelardo Rodriguez Market, just next to the main square of Mexico City. Knowing you, no wonder he fell in love with you. Apparently the affair evolved to the point where you decided to get an apartment together! You asked your carpenter to make all the furniture and little did he know, two weeks later he knocked on the front door of your Blue House with your extensive furniture order only to have Diego open the door and have hell unleashed on him because your secret was out of the bag.
Bad girl Frida!
You always did give us a lot to talk about. And I almost forgot: your dreamy, surrealist works were decreed by the Mexican government to be national patrimony. Yes yes pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.
So my dear Frida, I wish you the happiest birthday wherever you may be. I hope you will celebrate it with all your lovers and a few bottles of tequila up in heaven or down in hell (where the fun probably is). Come and haunt me some time, I won´t bite.
Andrea (aka. The Bird in Space)
- Frida Kahlo, “Self-Portrait as a Tehuana (Diego on my mind”, 1943, oil on masonite. Gelman collection, Mexico City. http://www.aaronartprints.org/kahlo-selfportraitasatehuanadiegoonmymind.php
- “Frida Kahlo y Leon Trotsky”, http://culturacolectiva.com/el-intenso-y-breve-amor-de-frida-kahlo-y-leon-trotsky/
- ” Frida y Noguchi”, http://mxcity.mx/2016/05/los-parques-de-noguchi-de-la-intimidad-en-una-urbe/