Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera have a tempestuous relationship: she worships him and he admires her. In 1929, Rivera starts an affair with Kahlo’s younger sister, Cristina Kahlo, who becomes Rivera’s mistress. When Kahlo learns of the affair in 1934, she leaves Rivera and moves into her own apartment. The couple later get back together, but in 1939 they divorce.
Their love is still so strong, though, that they get back together and remarry the following year. Kahlo writes numerous poems to Rivera in her diary and depicts him with tenderness in her works. The most famous of these paintings is the striking Diego on My Mind (1943), which can be experienced in the exhibition.
Directed RomanceIn 1939, Nickolas Muray, a friend of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, shoots a home movie of the couple at their home, Casa Azul. Muray is a highly esteemed photographer in the 1930s and a pioneer of colour photography. The video shows Kahlo posing, lightly flirting with the camera and strolling in the garden with Rivera. Kahlo seems as engaged in acting for the camera as in Rivera’s romantic gesture.
Watch the movie here:
Courtesy of George Eastman House and Nickolas Muray Photo Archives