Opening weekend on one frosty Sunday in Sydney, I ventured out of my bed and away from my hot-water bottle to attend the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW [dates 25 June – 9 October, 2016 visit http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au]
Hand-in-hand with my art-loving father and mentor we joined the crowd. It was a mix of young and old, eccentric Sally’s and plain Jane’s all head to toe in woollies bumping side by side to get a glimpse of the work by the most famous Mexican lovers Frida and Diego.
Walking through your eyes were drawn to the colours of Mexico. Reds, yellows, greens and oranges danced in front of your eyes highlighting a love of country like no other. It is clear to see why these two artists are so renowned as their play on country, colour and beauty is so rich in love.
White walls were lined with personal photographs of the artists’ lives. Seeing Frida as a young girl, you could see the flare in her eyes and her passion for life. As an adult and her marriage to Diego she donned flowers in her hair and dresses made to be danced in.
Despite the overwhelming nature of any opening weekend you almost wanted to break out in to a Salsa dance as the colours of the room electrified the soul. It was as though Frida was dancing with you and watching ever so intensely with those dark framed eyes.
Forget the 90’s eyebrow fashion and say hello the beauty of Frida as you cannot but stare in owe of her most striking features. Perhaps one of the most famous faces in the art world for her many self-portraits, Frida was one of the first females to be loud and proud of herself. She was her own muse.
Picture by picture you follow how Frida immersed herself into the work. She never featured herself smiling but positioned herself centre-stage with a face of someone in thought and surrounded by her environment.
My favourite quote from the exhibition was a description of the couple. One quote read something like, ‘it was a marriage between a toad and a flower’. Frida, who was 20 years his junior and was still developing her image as an artist while Diego was made famous for his depictions of the Mexican revolution in his work before meeting his ‘flower’.
For those that said she was using him to grow as a star in Mexico are clearly mistaken. Frida was and is one of the most influential female artists. Born in 1907 and having died young in 1954, her work still prevails in contemporary society.
This year Frida would have been 109. She will always be remembered by many as the girl with flowers in her hair.