Thursday, August 07, 2008

"I painted my own Reality"--Frida Kahlo

It's been a long time since I have been so emotionally intrigued by an art exhibit. To tell you the truth, I knew very little about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) until a recent visit to San Francisco and the immensely popular exhibit being held at the San Francisco Moma.

The place was packed, and for good reason. The exhibit not only had lots and lots of Kahlo's works, but an extensive photographic and historical display of her colorful life. André Breton described Kahlo's work as surreal, but Kahlo claims she never painted her dreams, "I painted my own reality."

And if this is her reality, then I think it might just be a little spooky to meet her. She was plagued by physical ailments, her whole life, a husband who betrayed her (with her sister no less), the famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and she held nothing back using her art to display to the whole world her physical and emotional pain. Some of the images are quite uncomfortable to view such as the one she painted after a miscarriage, or one titled "A Few Small Nips" inspired by a murder trial in which the drunken perpetrator justified his actions by proclaiming "I only gave her a few small nips."

This exhibit continues through September 28, 2008, and if you are in the area, you really ought to see it.--Ruth Mitchell

(c) 2008 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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