Saturday, September 27, 2014

Twin Houses

Having visited Coyoacan last saturday, we went to its neighbour, San Angel, today. They're similar. Both have a bohemian atmosphere, lovely little market squares & cafes, and Rivera-Kahlo connections.
Today we visited Casas Gemelas (Twin Houses) which Rivera built for them both in 1932. His is white, Kahlo's is blue, famously connected by a rooftop bridge, and with a fabulous cactus fence separating them from the street. They were designed by Rivera's friend, Juan O'Gorman, and are probably the first examples of anti-ornamental Functionalism in Latin America. Rivera's studio is 2 storeys tall and full of light. He painted some 3,000 works here, mostly portraits. His bedroom, by contrast, is tiny.
Kahlo's house is smaller, almost claustrophobic. And yet she painted some important works there including Lo que el agua me dio (What the Water Gave Me) which she painted while sitting in the bath, a curious Bosch-like work. The bathtub is still there. 
Can't say I loved Casas Gemelas. A bit too austere. I prefer the other Blue House... to which Kahlo returned after the death of her father in 1941.

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