Graciela Iturbide (1942 - )

Autorretrato en la casa de Trotsky, Coyoacán, México (2006)
Self-Portrait at Trotsky's House, Coyoacán, Mexico

Silver gelatin photograph on paper
height: 17.7cm
width: 17.7cm

Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund and the PINTA Museums Acquisitions Programme 2011-2012


This self-portrait, of Iturbide’s shadow, also shows bullet holes in the walls of the house on Vienna Street in Coyoacán where, from 1938 to 1940, Leon Trotsky lived in exile with his wife Natalia Sedova. Having been granted asylum by Mexico’s president, at Diego Rivera’s request, the couple lived for two years with the muralist and Frida Kahlo at The Blue House but, following an affair between Kahlo and Trotsky, Trotsky and Sedova moved to Vienna Street. In 1940, despite heavy protection, another of the muralists David Álfaro Siqueiros and other Stalinists, all dressed as policemen, entered the courtyard and fired machine gun rounds, injuring Trotsky’s grandson. This unsuccessful attempt on Trotsky’s life was followed in the same year by his murder with an ice-pick on Stalin’s orders by Ramon Mercader, a Spanish-born agent for the Soviet secret police.

(Display caption from the exhibition Mexican Migrations, 2013)

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