Oct 31, 2015

Casa Azul

Azul is the Spanish word for blue, which I expected to see lots of. However, I was a bit surprised to find that La Casa Azul was painted in a deep ultramarine blue rather than a brighter, more cheerful blue like cerulean or turquoise or even cobalt blue. It felt at times a weighty blue. El Greco would have approved. Nevertheless, if it is an actual reproduction of the color Frida and Diego chose for their home together, that blue is the perfect blue.

The much anticipated exhibit highlighting the garden, art and life of Frida Kahlo opened at the New York Botanical Gardens in May. As part of the presentation there were some very beautiful Mexican influenced pieces of jewelry, wares, woven items and other tchotchkes in the gift shop and even a display of traditional weaving done on site. A taco truck sat near the Moshulu entrance of the gardens and Mexican treats and drinks could be found in both cafeterias. There were also dance performances and live music by Trios Ellas and Villalobos


The library showcases paintings on paper and canvas including Frida's famous self portrait with hummingbird and twig necklace. Photographs of Casa Azul abound along with historical information of the life, times and areas surrounding this famous habitat located in Coyoacán, near Mexico City.

                                                     California poppies and cactus

You can't help but love California poppies, sunflowers and marigolds after viewing the display at the Conservatory and many garden designers may be inspired to add blue to their palette of garden furniture and planters.



Some of my favorite plant combinations were the container plantings in the outdoor water garden areas of the conservatory.

                                                                   Succulent succulents

                                                      Poppies in The Fence of Cactus

One may view the rich colors of yellow, terracotta and contrasting deep blue as reflective of the Mexican sun, wide open skies and also the colors of warmth, festivity, passion, pain and sadness, all of which were much a part of Frida's life and her tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera.

The exhibit has changed a bit over the past months while remaining the same; always a glimpse into the life of an icon. I bet there are lots of Fridas on this Halloween night. Your last chance to see the show is nearing. It closes tomorrow, on November 1, Dia de los Muertos or The Day of the Dead. 

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Russ, a recently added member, has been keeping the paths weed-free and tidy. The black swallowtail butterfly lays its eggs on bronze ...