FRIDA KAHLO at the BROOKLYN MUSEUM: This post is about a private group tour of this year’s blockbuster museum show, FRIDA KAHLO: Appearances Can Be Deceiving Exhibit at the BROOKLYN MUSEUM on March 27 at 1pm. Tickets are $45. each and can be purchased in the Members’ SIGN UP! section of this website. We will inquire of those who sign up if they would like to go to lunch at THE NORM, the restaurant at the Brooklyn Museum, which has developed a Mexican-themed menu for the duration of the exhibit.
It’s pretty difficult to separate Frida Kahlo’s work from her iconographic power. She has become so symbolic of feminism, of Mexican heritage and of physical handicaps. In fact, there are studies that rate her as the most-recognized of all women artists (yes, there’s even a Frida “Barbie”!) Her look was so distinct; from her traditional Mexican clothing and hair styling, to her uber famous mono-brow to her distinctive gait created by the heavy corsets and prosthetics she wore from the time she was in a serious bus accident as a teenager. In our current self-involved era she would be congratulated for having created such a well-known “personal brand.” – A (talented!) precursor to Kim Kardashian? Let’s go and decide for ourselves!
The current exhibit at the BROOKLYN MUSEUM, which is an augmented version of one which was at the the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up) last year, takes a very strong personal tack. On display is a lot of her clothing, some of the various handicapped devices she used, jewelry, historic film clips, some of her cosmetics and various ephemera which had been locked away in Casa Azul, the Mexico City home she shared with husband Diego Rivera. The point of this approach is to focus attention on the carefully crafted persona of Frida Kahlo and to appreciate how she melded her personal and public identities to reflect on her ethnic background, politics, sexuality and also her considerable handicaps – and her art. The exhibit shows her personal items alongside a limited number of her most important, and often self-referential, works. Read the recent NYTimes review of the exhibit.
As you might guess, this approach is controversial. Many critics and individuals are wondering whether this type of presentation would ever be used for a male artist. Take advantage of this rare chance to experience the life AND work of a truly unique, ahead-of-her-time female artist who against all odds has become symbolic of and a lightning rod for many current day issues. Considering that Kahlo was only 47 when she died in 1954 it’s astonishing how she has lived on and become relevant in modern times