Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in Dublin
Ever since Fintan O'Toole declared in his Irish Times column that anyone who hasn't heard of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera must be "Living under a rock," I've been striving to scramble from beneath my stone roof and skulk off to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) for a look.
Unsurprisingly, cameras not allowed in the exhibition hall so I had to make do with a sneaky snap of the view of IMMA gardens and beyond from an upstairs window.
Not only is the exhibition a feast for the eyes,
with its deep colours
and forensic detail
but the compelling, personal story of prolific Frida Kahlo,(1907-1954) wife of fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera,(1886-1957)
is as absorbing as her artwork.
Ill health due to childhood polio and horrific injuries sustained in a train accident that saw her undergoing thirty five operations, a volatile relationship with husband Rivera, ambivalent sexuality, and an inability to bear children - all inspiring the 143 paintings produced in her short but eventful forty seven year lifespan.
The pain and desolation of miscarriage, a subject rarely openly discussed by women of her era,
and ambivalent relationships
are firm themes.
An artist who truly wore her heart on her canvas.
"I never painted dreams," Kahlo insisted, "I painted my own reality."