Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers–or would be lovers–and there is no other couple in history that evokes passion than that of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. They appropriately met at a communist rally and shared a lifetime of hot Latin adoration. Opening Valentine’s Day through May 12, 2013 at the High Museum is the Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting exhibit.
According to High Museum director Michael Shapiro, this exhibit, “Frida and Diego is the largest exhibition ever of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera mounted together.”
In preview of the show ( http://youtu.be/-xetocBCnpk ) the layout builds on the life of these two artist. Frida was injured when she was riding a in a bus that collided with a trolley car. She suffered significant injuries that kept her in pain most the rest of her life. More importantly, she was unable to have children and many of her painting evoke that in them. She also often painted in bed and used a mirror to be able to capture her image. In a red reading room designed by Héctor Esrawe you see an image of a bed in all red. It was not all so serious as represented by Ignacio Cadena who installed a fun yellow room filled with chairs inspired by the game of musical chairs. This exhibit show cases approximately 25% of Frida Kahlo’s entire body of work.
Diego Rivera was an advocate of worker’s rights and many of his works carry this theme. There are several self portraits that draw you into the intensity of his gaze. Rivera did say his saddest day was the day his Frida died and his last formal portrait one of “The Watermelons” as homage to his Frida, in it you can see the texture of the sand he incorporated from the beach.
In order to celebrate this exhibit, the High Museum has acquired two photographs of the artist to allow a trace of the show to remain with the museum’s permanent collection: Martin Munkacsi’s “Diego and Frida” an intimate portrait of the couple, which is enlarged in the main lobby when visitors come in. The other is “Frida Looking into Mirror” (The Two Fridas) by Lola Alvarez Bravo.
This show will also host six lectures, nine films, and several celebratory events. This is also the first show for the High Museum that is bi-lingual in English and Spanish both with the labels, the audio tours, and website. On Sundays there will also be a bi-lingual tour guides.
With the scent of new exhibit show in the air, checking out her work was quite a trip into this complex pair of artist whose work has seen a resurgence interest that captures their spirit of “passion, politics, and painting.”
Don’t miss out a truly once in life time opportunity to see these two artist side by side in our fair city, the only one in the United States to host this grand exhibit: Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Paintings.