Two years ago I stood in the courtyard of Casa Azul in Coyoacan and could feel Frida Kahlo’s spirit lingering amidst the plants and stones. It was exactly fifty years after her death and all of Mexico City was remembering her. I turned back toward the small bedroom off her studio and snapped a picture. Later in the states I discovered that shot on the full screen where the lighting played this crazy trick.
Through a far open second floor door was the bed where she spent her final days. She asked that it be positioned in a narrow hallway where she could look out through the door and into the garden. Her death mask lies nestled into that pillow, her painted plaster corset just out of sight against the wall.
And while the camera caught all of the garden it somehow managed to capture that room in its own etherial light, as though she was still there. Perhaps she was. Perhaps when a person lives so deeply connected to a violet blue painted house with a canary yellow kitchen, a grand painting studio and a separate bedroom for Diego, that is where they still linger after death. Viva la vida, Frida. Happy 52nd.