When Patti Smith visited Frida and Diego’s Casa Azul
The poet, artist and musician visited Mexico City in 2012 to pay her respects to the place where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera lived.
The ‘godmother of punk,’ Patti Smith, has sustained a long romance with the story of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. In an interview with the Smithsonian, Smith recounts that he mother gave her a book about the Mexican artists for her sixteenth birthday, in which she not only found inspiration but also a love ethic and its practice that would feed her art and her romantic relationship with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
In 2012, Patti Smith traveled to Mexico City and visited Frida and Diego’s Casa Azul, a mansion in the Coyoacán neighborhood. The singer demonstrated that it is not the same to visit a place as a tourist as it is as an artist, according to the anecdote that occured when she was visiting the house of her heroes.
During her visit she saw:
…the house where they led their life together. I saw the streets where they walked and the parks where they sat. I sipped watermelon juice from a street vendor’s paper cup. Casa Azul, now a museum, was so open. One could see their artifacts, where they slept, where they worked. I saw Frida’s crutches and medicine bottles and the butterflies mounted above her bed, so she had something beautiful to view after she lost her leg. I touched her dresses, her leather corsets. I saw Diego’s old overalls and suspenders and just felt their presence.
After this initial recognition, something unexpected happened:
I had a migraine, and the director of the museum had me sleep in Diego’s room, adjacent to Frida’s. It was so humble, just a modest wooden bed with a white coverlet. It restored me, calmed me down. A song came to me as I lay there, about the butterflies above Frida’s bed. Shortly after waking, I sang it in the garden before 200 guests.
During her visit, Smith not only had an unusual experience, even for a less ‘celebrity’ visitor, but also a vision about love and the art of exercising it as a couple, as Frida and Diego understood it and lived it.
The most important lesson, though, isn’t their indiscretions and love affairs but their devotion. Their identities were magnified by the other. They went through their ups and downs, parted, came back together, to the end of their lives. That’s what I sensed even at 16. That’s what Robert and I experienced that never diminished.
Pictorial spiritism (a woman's drawings guided by a spirit)
There are numerous examples in the history of self-taught artists which suggest an interrogation of that which we take for granted within the universe of art. Such was the case with figures like
Astounding fairytale illustrations from Japan
Fairy tales tribal stories— are more than childish tales. Such fictions, the characters of which inhabit our earliest memories, aren’t just literary works with an aesthetic and pleasant purpose. They
A cinematic poem and an ode to water: its rhythms, shapes and textures
Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water. - John Keats Without water the equation of life, at least life as we know it, would be impossible. A growing hypothesis holds that water, including the
Watch beauty unfold through science in this "ode to a flower" (video)
The study of the microscopic is one of the richest, most aesthetic methods of understanding the world. Lucky is the scientist who, upon seeing something beautiful, is able to see all of the tiny
To invent those we love or to see them as they are? Love in two of the movies' favorite scenes
So much has been said already, of “love” that it’s difficult to add anything, much less something new. It’s possible, though, perhaps because even if you try to pass through the sieve of all our
This app allows you to find and preserve ancient typographies
Most people, even those who are far removed from the world of design, are familiar with some type of typography and its ability to transform any text, help out dyslexics or stretch an eight page paper
The secrets of the mind-body connection
For decades medical research has recognized the existence of the placebo effect — in which the assumption that a medication will help produces actual physical improvements. In addition to this, a
The sea as infinite laboratory
Much of our thinking on the shape of the world and the universe derives from the way scientists and artists have approached these topics over time. Our fascination with the mysteries of the
Sharing and collaborating - natural movements of the creative being
We might sometimes think that artistic or creative activity is, in essence, individualistic. The Genesis of Judeo-Christian tradition portrays a God whose decision to create the world is as vehement
John Malkovich becomes David Lynch (and other characters)
John Malkovich and David Lynch are, respectively, the actor and film director who’ve implicitly or explicitly addressed the issues of identity and its porous barriers through numerous projects. Now