Sunday, May 18, 2008

Frida Kahlo Exhibit

I FINALLY saw the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Friday (it ends today). I was really interested to see it because it was the first major exhibition of her works in this country for 15 years, and her very tragic life story makes for some incredibly touching and significant artwork. Overall though, I was slightly disappointed by the exhibit and thought it was anti-climactic. I felt the curator also added insignificant things simply to use up the space provided; two entire rooms of photographers of her, Diego Rivera, and "unidentified" individuals was simply not necessary. However, I was impressed by some of her less recognized works and her use of mediums.

My favorite work was The Suicide of Dorothy Hale (above) that she painted after a famous actress' committed a tragic suicide and Kahlo then presented it to Hale's mother. I think this painting is just incredibly executed and the fact that she presented it to the women's mother just give you a clue as to how fearless of a woman she was. I also think that this painting is proof that she CAN paint and is a good artist (many people say she did not have artistic talent) and she uses her generally simplistic style of painting as a tool - it is not simply because she cannot paint well. The influence she has had on other artists, particularly women, is incredible, and she really has a ridiculous life story that is definitely shown through her art. I am now a lot more interested in seeing the move, Frida... I am definitely going to do that soon.

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