When I was a kid, my mother took a trip to Mexico City. She told me about how amazing it was to visit Frida Kahlo’s house. During the visit, she brought back Frida’s biography. The book was filled with pictures of Kahlo’s most intense paintings.

As an impressionable child, the images shocked and frightened me. It actually gave me nightmares for a while. I didn’t tell my parents this. However, many nightmares the paintings gave me, curiosity took over. I still looked at the book and developed a great degree of fascination with her art.

As an adult, I grew to admire and understand Frida Kahlo’s art more. In Buenos Aires, I went for a trip to the Museum of Latin American Art. They had a Kahlo painting on display. I was beyond excited to see one of her paintings in person.

Also at the museum was a Diego Rivera painting, Frida Kahlo’s husband. My mom loved his art too. She actually bought a bevy of posters to decorate our house with. Till this day my family home looks like a Mexican restaurant. Unfortunately, we don’t always have chips and salsa.

Seeing a favorite artist’s painting in person is one of the true joys of life. I remember seeing my first Andy Warhol painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Claude Monet at London’s National Gallery. It’s the equivalent of seeing a piece of history only read about it in books.

My most memorable art experience happened in Madrid. Spain’s capital is the nation’s high culture hub. The Prado is a shrine to the Spanish creative senses. I learned about everyone from Goya to El Greco in those proper walls of art. Nothing could prepare me for seeing Pablo Picasso’s Guernica at El Centro De Arte Reina Sofia.

That day, I entered the museum and scrambled to see the painting. In a dark room shining brightly from a distance with grey, black and white hues was the Guernica. It was grander than I anticipated.

Staring at the painting is an emotional experience. The significance and history behind it make it a historic piece. I analyzed the painting carefully. Standing up close to it then taking a seat to see it from afar. The cows and men all perished during the Guernica bombing were there with Picasso’s Cubism style of art.  It left me glued; the hues depicted were bleak and perfectly captured the misery of that dreadful day. The Guernica was one of those pieces, which was hard to leave.

I roamed around El Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. It was very accomplishing to see the vast art collection. However, I’ll never forget the Guernica. It’s been years, since I last met eyes with Picasso’s masterpiece. I am truly eager to see and analyze it again one day. I’ve been lucky enough to experience Mexican, Impressionist, Pop, Renaissance and even Avant-garde art in my lifetime. Going to museums will always be one of my favorite pastimes.

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