Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Slice of Mexico in D.C.

Taqueria D.F. Located on 14th St at Oak St. NW. I have been longing to go to Mexico City for a while now but haven't had the means to go, so I did the next best thing: I paid visit the D.C. taqueria that bears its name. Taqueria D.F. (Distrito Federal) offers up tasty authentic Mexican food at prices requetebuenos! Two tacos--corn tortillas filled with your choice of meat, chopped onions and tomato, a slice of avocado, and cucumber, radish and lime on the side--and a Mexican cola (made with "real" sugar) set me back about $6, plus tip for the friendly, if minimal, service. The food was simple and delicious and well worth an afternoon spent beneath the blazing sun.

Frida Kahlo: Public Image, Private Life
This exhibition, on view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts until October 16, provides a glimpse into the life of Mexico's famous cross-dressing, unibrow-rocking, Trotsky-loving artist. Most people who are familiar with her art know at least a little about Frida Kahlo's private life, her family, her tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera, and the accident that changed the course of her life and work. The exhibition features just one of her paintings--"Self Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky"--the only one in the NMWA collection and perhaps one of the more staid and formal of her paintings. The rest of the exhibition focuses on a collection of photographs of Kahlo and her cohorts as well as a sampling of her letters. The most striking aspect of the show, however, is the group of photos by contemporary Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide of Kahlo's private bathroom at the Casa Azul and its contents, which were sealed until only a few years ago. The black-and-white images of items such as a bloody hospital gown, crutches, an orthopedic corset, and other apparatuses offer a painful and very real contrast to the colorful paintings, self-decoration and surroundings that made her famous. We know that this side of Kahlo's life greatly informed her work, but it is interesting to seem them on their own, apart from her surreal and florid depictions of them.
Currently this the only special exhibition on view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Entry is $5 until September 20th.

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