Friday, May 23, 2008

Fabulous Frida

Kahlo Exhibit, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Self portrait with Monkeys, 1943.

Frieda and Diego Rivera, 1931.
We saw the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of
Art last Saturday. I was so thrilled! I was totally unfamiliar with
Kahlo until her U.S. postage stamp was issued in 2002. I did a
little research and became totally mesmerized by her work. The
wonderful film Frida was also released in 2002, directed by
Julie Taymor, who made me feel like I stepped right into a Kahlo
painting. (Taymor also directed Titus, starring my favorite
Anthony Hopkins, doing Shakespeare, one of his fortes. She,
amazingly enough, has also directed opera at the Met and LA
Opera.) The museum was totally packed to the limit and we
waited in line for about an hour, after we purchased our tickets,
just to get into the actual exhibit. Many of her fabulous paintings
were on display, as well as an extensive collection of rare family
photos. I had seen prints of most of her paintings previously and
already have a book of her work, but the copies do not do her
amazing paintings justice. The colors and incredible details were
absolutely stunning. I came away with a brand new appreciation
of Kahlo’s intelligence, creativity and magnificent talent.


  1. I'm jealous. I'm sure that would be a fantastic exhibit to see ... and was a wonderful movie. She was an incredible talent as well as her long time partner Diego.

  2. Yes, I would love to see an exhibit of Diego's. I am very fond of his work, maybe even more so than Frida's.

  3. I love her work, too--it's stunning and just interesting. I thought that movie was excellent at describing the autobiographical and allegorical nature of so much of her work, too. Must have been wonderful to see the paintings in person!

  4. Willow, I'm not familiar with Frida Kahlo or her work, but find your post quite fascinating...once again I've had to do a little research before I could even reponding. Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego seemed to have led a most interesting quiet time this evening I plan to read about them... I want to see the movie also...Another lovely post Willow...Best wishes...Dee Dee

  5. this was my introduction to frida's work. very vibrant colors and wonderfully thought-provoking (disturbing??) pieces. ah, a day at an art museum sounds like heaven! thanks for letting me live vicariously thru your journey.

  6. My eyes are glittering green! I would love to see that exhibition. It's sad to think that throughout most of her life Frieda was in extreme pain and yet she still created such awesome paintings.

  7. Frida was amazing - from her pain induced art to various love affairs - she was a unique.

    I've looked at many of her paintings and her pain becomes obvious. Painting after painting filled with needles, blood, danger, nightmares - oh how she suffered.

    Yet she embraced her culture, attempted to understand the US, idealized socialism, had a fling with Leon Trotsky and loved Diego Rivera.

    Never a cripple yet very much one she lived life to its fullest.

    Eventually she will be mentioned as one of the great artists of all time.

  8. Beautiful. I have bookmarked the link and will take a look later.

  9. I too am mesmerized by Frida's art. And yes, I'm a big fan of the film. It is like stepping into one of those magical paintings. Phenomenal art direction.

    Frida was not only a genius of an artist, she was an amazingly strong person, inspirational.

  10. Willow, I wish I could experience this exhibit. I knew a little of her work before the film came out and once I saw it I wanted to discover more. Her work displays such strength, honesty and poignancy; all drawn from such a dramatic and cruel life. What an amazing artist.

  11. There are so many layers to her art and her life. I think that is why she is so fascinating. The family photos must have been really interesting. I like to see photos, they reveal so much more about a person...when you see them reacting with their family and friends. I enjoyed the Frida movie. Salam Hayek played her convincingly.

  12. Copies and prints never do the original works justice, do they?! I never cease to have my breath taken away when given the opportunity to see an original of a piece I've long admired.

  13. it was a wonderful experience to see the film. it was humanizing and made her art all that much more compelling to me. how fortunate you are to see it in person!
    your friend, bird tweet robin from down the road

  14. Her art is unique and unforgettable - I can never get over the glorious colour - and her story is fascinating.

  15. Really nice post Willow. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to attend the exhibit. Didn't we have fun! There were so many wonderful paintings of hers there, I wouldn't have been able to choose a 1st prize.
    Thanks for sharing!
    The Bach

  16. I confess I don't know much about this artist; I hadn't even heard of her until they made that movie.
    The painting you've posted here is vibrant with colour and life, I am becoming curious about this remarkable woman. I wonder if Toronto will get an exhibit; I would go.

    For now, it's google search!

  17. I have been in love with her since my mum introduced her to me in my childhood. I wanted to say that willow Manor sounds lovely!

  18. Taymor also directed "Across the Universe" which is like a series of videos based on Beatle music. The story is a bit weak, but the colour and images are wonderful.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)