Visiting the Frida Museum, Mexico D.F.

Easter weekend, and the line around the Frida Kahlo museum wrapped twice up and down the street in Coyocan where Frida and Diego Rivera once lived, painted, and hosted the likes of Leon Trotsky.

No way were we going to wait in line two hours.

Here’s the Best way to avoid the line at the Frida Museum:

Go online to buy your tickets in advance at this website, show up at your appointed time, and skip the line! It costs a bit more but it’s well worth it. However, weekdays are not as busy as a holiday weekend, so you can probably get in without too long of a wait most of the time.

Museo Frida

After escaping the line, we went a few blocks away to the Trotsky Museum, the former residence of the man whose name is it’s own -ism, Trotskyism.  In his fort-like home, he was assassinated with an ice pick, although not before carrying on an affair with Frida, who often cheated on her husband Rivera to counter her husband’s many infidelities.

I knew a lot about Frida and Trotsky’s scandalous affair from one of my all time favorite books, Frida, a Biography of Frida Kahlo, by Hayden Herrera. (Her life is beyond fiction. A must read.)

What I did not know is that the Mexican Muralist Siqueiros participated in an attempt to murder Trotsky before the guy with the ice pick finished the job…Can you imagine Diego and Siqueiros as contemporaries, two of the most famous artists of their time, at war over politics that spanned across the globe, rivals in both their views on communism and their approach to painting a wall, Siqueiros actually attempting murder for his ideas… mind boggling.

To visit their homes, and walk the few blocks that Frida would have traversed between her home and Trotsky’s, makes their incredible lives all the more real, and recent.

Frida, Diego, Trotsky and others

Here Frida and Diego, an unlikely couple in themselves, pose with Trotsky and other Marxist sympathizers.

The museum also hosts much of the artwork Frida composed in her time at the home in Coyocan, as well as her preserved painting studio.

Frida's palatte

Here Frida is a geometrical design of Frida’s palette, showing the range of colors she used in her symbolic and surrealistic-ish self-portraiture. Frida's Studio

Frida’s studio. It is worth it to pay and extra 30 pesos to take pictures. Otherwise, you have to put the cameras away!

Visiting edgy Mexico City helped me to understand the raw passion Frida had for life, she having grown up there. It is a city where you must always be alert for trouble, actively keeping track of your purse and how much the taxis are charging. But the alertness makes you feel alive, a part of the city in a way that most safe tourist destinations don’t.

Frida grew up in Mexico City in a time when politics raised blood and saw it spilled in the streets. Diego, who was the most famous artist in Mexico at the time, made artwork a weapon for social change and revolution, favoring a Marxist future for Mexico. His grandiose murals empower the people, the worker, the heart and capable hands of Mexico.

If Diego represents heart and hands, Frida was the soul, la chingada (pardon my spanish) who was ravaged by polio, accidents, heartbreak, and betrayal–and yet her artwork expressed her irreverent attitude toward life, which she laughed at and with, in a way so purely Mexican that it is hard to put in english.

I highly recommend D.F. and Frida’s Museum, but only after reading Frida, a Biography of Frida Kahlo, by Hayden Herrera, which everyone who breaths should read.

Have you been to Mexico City recently? What was your experience? Comment below to share!

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