05 January 2008


Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940

I went to the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Walker.

Terry talked me into it.

It was Free Family First Saturday. IT.WAS.CROWDED. We got there just as the museum was opening. Traffic around the Walker was unbelievable and it took about four lights of waiting in a line of cars just to turn the corner to the museum. Managed to get a parking spot right near the door in the parking garage. As we drove in front of the museum, you could see a huge line of people already waiting to get in to the exhibit. I think we were some of the last folks allowed in before they stopped the line. When we went out, I cannot even tell you where the end of the line was. Timbuktu would be pretty close.

This painting was my favorite. Can't tell you why, but I loved the monkeys in her paintings.

I'm very glad I went. You really need to see her work in person. I wasn't aware of just how surreal much of her work is.

The exhibit runs to the 20th of January. Go.See.It.


Terry Nelson said...

I'm glad you went. I'm sure it sounds as if I do not like her other work - but I do. I also love the self-portrait with the parrots. I also never really thought of her as maternal - but I think your husband is right that.

Melody said...

I don't know much about Frida Kahlo; after seeing your post and Terry's my curiosity is up. I'm going to have to read up on her. Maybe the Joslyn in Omaha, where I sometimes go, has something of hers.
What did your kids think of the exhibit? My kids sometimes liked stuff that was a little offbeat.

swissmiss said...

I didn't get the impression you didn't like some of her work. I was surprised how much I like some of it. I hadn't known much about Frida or her work previously (still don't know much), but my husband and I really liked the exhibit. Half way through, he stopped me and said he liked it much more than O'Keefe. Not that G. O'Keefe's work is not as nice, just that the exhibit of her work was barely enough of a gathering of things to warrant a showing.

My kids are two and four. My daughter had little idea of things other than the monkeys and other animals I showed her. My son was bored and that was somewhat of a blessing since Kahlo's work is dark and mature. The pieces Terry mentions are violent. There is some nudity. Overall, I would describe her work as "painful." Describing her work as maternal is kind of a strange and subtle thing we noticed running through the displayed works. I would caution you to review some of her work online before taking your kids to an exhibit of hers (don't know the ages of your kids). The self-portraits are tame, but her more surreal work deals with murder, miscarriage and surgeries she had. I was surprised I liked her work as much as I did, but there are some mature themes you should be aware of if you're thinking of taking children.

Melody said...

Well, my kids are now 29 and 33, so it won't be a problem. In fact they kind of give me a "heads up" on movies and such ("That one's a little too violent and um, sexually graphic, for you to enjoy, Mom!") LOL. The younger one has a degree in art; he always did gravitate toward some of the stranger works. I have several "coffee table" art books, and when he was little he would look up the Hieronymus Bosch pictures. It was interesting to see what would trigger their imaginations.
I have been reading a little online about Frida Kahlo, it seems that she had a painful life in more ways than one.

swissmiss said...

I guess you're well past the days of screening your children's television shows and the like!!!

If your son is into art, then I would really recommend Kahlo. For me, there was this overwhelming sadness, but then she had some lightness and playfulness. The lightness was in the intricate lace on some of her portraits and on the butterflies in the portrait that I liked the best. The playfulness could be seen in the monkeys and other animals that gave you a sense that everything wasn't all despair for her.

Up close her work had a richness that you just don't get from a picture.

I think the exhibit moves to Philadelphia next and then San Francisco, so if you're ever in those cities... Or you could come to Minneapolis before the 20th and have Terry be your tour guide ;}