The legacy of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s relationship is defined by controversy. After all, they married twice, and Diego cheated on Frida with her own sister. Frida also had her own affair with Leon Trotsky.
However, a new exhibit at CDMX’s El Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo aims to give a more intimate look at their relationship with previously unseen material. Titled Correspondencias… Archivos y fondos del Cenidiap, the idea started with a letter Frida signed with a kiss. The imprint of her lips still looks as fresh as it did decades ago.
“Stumbling on a letter like this was a great find,” Patricia Brambila, assistant director of documentation at the Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Informacíon de Artes Plásticas (Cenidiap) del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, told EFE. “What struck us was that the lip imprint Frida used as a signature looked as though she had done it yesterday.”
After an exhaustive search, a team of seven put together an exhibit of 177 facsimiles, 57 photos, two short films, and audio of an interview Cuban journalist Lolo de la Torriente conducted with Rivera. Though the collection sheds a light on a side of Frida and Diego’s relationship that didn’t make headlines, the letters also provide more information on their lives as artists and activists. For example, one letter shows a breakdown of costs for a mural that Rivera was commissioned to paint. Another is a telegram Rivera sent President Lázaro Cárdenas protesting the destruction of Juan O’Gorman mural from an old CDMX airport.
You can now check out Correspondencias… Archivos y fondos del Cenidiap until July 17.