Martin Munkacsi, [Agfa glass plate negative box: Diego Rivera], 1934
For the second of the first in a new series of weekly blog posts about studio visits we return to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s studio complex in San Ángel, Mexico.
These Agfa glass plate negatives were made, around 1934, soon, perhaps less than a year, after the completion of the buildings, designed by Juan O’Gorman, and perhaps only a few months after Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera moved in, around December 1933. Considering the empty, clean space, it appears they were not making full use of the studios yet.
Frida Kahlo spent only a few years working in her blue studio house, because of her ill health as well as the ill health of the relationship with Diego Rivera. Although her blue building was beautiful and avant-garde, it was impractical for a physically ill person to live and work in. She returned to her family home, the nearby Casa Azul, now the Museo Frida Kahlo, (Google Maps), where she died in 1954.
The large windowed empty spaces are populated sparsely with a few large paper-mâché Judas figures, other art, plenty of chairs, and an empty easel. The large widowed artist continued to work productively in his ferruginous studio house until his death in 1957.