I’m just back from three weeks in Mexico City, where I studied some Spanish, worked on a new project, visited old loves like Leonora Carrington and Frida Kahlo, and found new loves like Lilia Carillo, the painter, and Tlaloc, the Aztec rain god.
Here’s Leonora Carrington’s Cocodrilo on Paseo de la Reforma (and my quick watercolor sketch of it):
I almost didn’t go to Frida’s Casa Azul again (here’s a link to my 2014 visit), but I’m so glad I did:
I love her amazing collection of retablos, amateur paintings made to thank the Virgin of Guadalupe for interceding at life-threatening moments:
These influenced some of her most famous paintings, and the museum juxtaposes small reproductions of her actual paintings with the retablos that inspired them:
At the Museum of Modern Art, I got to see Dos Fridas in person for the first time:
This painting was made after one of her breakups with Diego and represents two sides of herself, one as a comfort to the other. She is dressed in European attire on the left and in her classic Tehuana dress (which Diego preferred) on the right.
In all my times of viewing the painting online, I’d never noticed that the heart on the left is gray and withered:
And I discovered the beautiful abstract paintings of Lilia Carrillo:
We saw an outdoor film at the Monument of the Revolution:
about this guy, Tlaloc, the Aztec rain god:
…who was removed from his original site in Coatlinchan and relocated to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. The film, La Piedra Ausente (The Absent Stone), tells the amazing story of the removal of the stone amidst the town’s protests and its celebrated/contested arrival in Mexico City.
[More Mexico City magic: The night before the film, we went to a birthday dinner for a friend and met a woman named Sandra. After we’d talked for a while, she said, “I made a film; it’s screening tomorrow night at the Monument of the Revolution. You should come!” So we did. It was awesome.]
At the Palacio Nacional, we saw the journals of the artist Francisco Toledo, which were part of an exhibit of — get this — art that Mexican artists give to the nation as payment for their taxes:
These inspired a couple of my own journal sketches:
I thought I saw a Dirty Dancing sculpture, but it was just a strange sculpture that happened to have an ad for Dirty Dancing, The Musical behind it:
Finally, I should mention that there was a tree hanging in the center of our airbnb apartment building: