Frida Kahlo in full color...

by - Thursday, May 28, 2015

A tray filled with jars of powdered tinctures sits upon a wooden table. Inviting is this artistic clutter, a used palette, a few stray paintbrushes with spatula, seemingly placed with deliberate carelessness to end a gratifying spell. I want to touch all the tools and feel her artistic spirit wield their magic...
The vignette is part of the New York Botanical Garden's latest splendor - Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life. 

All inclusive is this Mexican artist's garden, gallery, and geography, an indigenous portrayal of her creative soul. Though familiar with Frida's work having touched upon it in a broad spectrum Art History class long ago, this evocation was enlightening and truly inspiring. Every element tells her story in apt dialog easy to follow as you journey through her world. 

Each space recreated the nature and mood of the artist's garden and studio in Mexico through color, plantings, and flowers, paying homage to the ones she fostered at Casa Azul. All the selections tell a story of this fascinating, wounded woman who eagerly surrounded herself with beauty, utilizing her knowledge of plants and animals to create metaphoric art, asserting her social and political beliefs.


Terracotta bellied pots with color-rich marigolds, calla lilies, and every shade of green cacti and succulents flank the conservatory's promenade. A bold backdrop of reminiscent blue, as Casa Azul in Mexico the home shared with political muralist husband Diego Rivera, awakens promising light amid volatile and painful companionship.







Continuing to the library building, visitors can view fourteen of Frida's paintings and sketches highlighting her surrealism in still life and botanical imagery as well as her signature self portraiture. As characterized by Diego, I recommend her to you, not as a husband but as an enthusiastic admirer of her work, acid and tender, hard as steel and delicate and fine as a butterfly’s wing, lovable as a beautiful smile, and as profound and cruel as the bitterness of life.” 

Still Life with Parrot and Flag - 1951

Roots - 1943



All in paper, artist in residence at NYBG, Humberto Spindola recreated The Two Fridas (1939) for a singular display in the Britton Rotunda. 


Stroll through the Mexico City of Frida and Diego sites where artwork and personal collections of both husband and wife can be viewed, clever and engaging, mapped in the Ross Gallery.

Caught up in the spirit of the afternoon, we had lunch from a taco truck in the park and enjoyed a lively music and dance presentation in Ross Hall from Mexico Beyond Mariachi.



"Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away." ~Frida Kahlo

The garden, the studio, the art, many facets all at one station. Don't miss this marvelous exhibit before it ends November first. Frida Kahlo in full color... xoxo-Sonya

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