Frida's Bathroom

Fundacion MAPFRE

The photographer Graciela Iturbide documented the moment when, after 50 years, a bathroom was opened in the Blue House where Frida Kahlo had lived, lifting the lid on numerous secrets.

Fifty Years of Secrets
After Frida Kahlo's death in 1954, Diego Rivera decided to block off 2 bathrooms containing objects and documents that had belonged to Frida. They were reopened more than 50 years later, in 2006, and the Frida Kahlo Museum invited Graciela Iturbide to capture a photographic testimony of the occasion.

Nobody knows for sure what led Rivera to decide to block off the bathroom. Perhaps it was simply the desire to preserve one of the artist's intimate spaces, as suggested by the personal objects left there: corsets, Frida's orthopedic leg and some crutches, political posters of Lenin and Stalin, medicines, and other time-worn objects, all of which Graciela photographed as unscathed relics of a desecrated sanctuary.
Shown one by one within the photographic collection, these objects radiate with a strange light.

Producing a visual record, the photographer creates still lifes from these attention-grabbing pieces. The 28 images invoke Frida's personal world.

Frida "Sanctified"
Frida has also been "sanctified" and is today a figure to whom thousands of Mexicans pray for favors and miracles. Where do you begin when dealing with such an icon of Mexican culture?

Aware of the devotion that Frida commands, Iturbide approaches this icon of Mexican culture from her own poetic space, starting a dialog with the painter's work.

Once again, Iturbide explores the myth that so many have recreated, by starting a dialog with Frida Kahlo's work from her own poetic space, as is reflected in the photograph that reinterprets the 1938 painting "What the Water Gave Me"

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© Graciela Iturbide


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