Frida Kahlo at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
Last weekend I took in the Frida Khalo exhibit at the AGO. I’m fascinated by Latin culture, especially after living in Argentina for close to a year. It was while travelling through Buenos Aires and Mendoza province that I fully understood the richness and colour of a people who many of us in North America take for granted. There are many lessons to heed from Latin Americans. While in Argentina I had never been witness to such warmth and compassion in my life before, and it was refreshing to see how their culture is one based on trust and generosity.
Of course Khalo was not Argentine, but Mexican. Different country than what I experienced but similar mind-set and revolutionary spirit is shared between the people from both regions.
The exhibit is not Khalo’s alone, her works share the same space as her husband, Diego Rivera. Though Rivera was more popular at the time, it’s been in death that Khalo’s talents have been properly acknowledged, arguably surpassing Rivera.
Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting features 75 works by the artists, drawn primarily from the collection of Mexico’s Museo Dolores Olmedo. These works highlight Rivera and Kahlo’s lives together and apart, their politics and relationship to society and how their passionate views and activism influenced their work. The exhibition will be at the AGO from Oct. 20, 2012 through Jan. 20, 2013.
While enjoying the paintings and impressive photographic collections on display I was struck with how in love Khalo was with her philandering husband, and how, like many wives, she fed her spouse’s enormous ego because his happiness was more important to her than her own. Khalo died at a young age, she was only 47, and it’s a shame that while alive she did not have the conviction to explore her own eccentricities sans Diego. It’s a revelation to how stifling love and relationships can be to personal enlightenment and emotional freedom.
If you get a chance take in the exhibit. It’s far more impressive than Picasso’s reign earlier this summer.