The next day, I headed off to the Museo de Frida Kahlo. I was to take the subway, which I felt slightly apprehensive about, but I was also armed with a map and detailed directions from the nice folk at the hostel.
The subway was very easy to use and before I knew it I was nearly at Frida Kahlo's house. In her lifetime she was not well known as a painter, and more known for the fact she was married to the famous Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera. As I rounded the corner to the street her house was in, I noted that it is safe to say that this has changed. There was a very long queue to get into her house and there was even a 'FRIDA' tour bus parked outside, letting off yet more people to join the queue. I joined the queue, shuffling along and nibbling at snacks that the street vendors were selling.
After 2 hours of queueing, I was happy to be able to purchase a ticket and enter the museum. Inside there was a colourful internal courtyard with a garden, fountain and precolumbian indigenous art that Diego and Frida collected.
It's easy to see how their political ideas influenced their art, they wanted to move away from spanish colonial influence and celebrate mexican indigenous culture and folk art, and the artworks collected in their house reflects their interests.
Inside their house, some of Frida's art works are on display. She began painting after she was badly injured in a terrible tram accident, which led to health problems and many further operations throughout her life. She painted during her long and boring hours of recovery, and used her painting as a form of self expression. I think that the personal nature of her art works is part of why they are so appealing to so many people now.
Although Frida Kahlo only lived to be 47, she had lived her life to the full and had a very colourful and interesting existence. Before she passed away she was often in a lot of pain and confined to a wheelchair, but she still continued to paint.
I think one of my favourite paintings of hers is a still life of watermelons. Shortly before she died she added the words 'Viva la vida' - Long live life!