Indepth Arts News: |
"VIVA LA VIDA - Frida KAHLO, Diego RIVERA and MEXICAN MODERNISM"
2000-01-29 until 2000-04-30
NZ New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Securing these intimate photographs means visitors to VIVA LA VIDA - Frida KAHLO, Diego RIVERA and MEXICAN MODERNISM will be seeing two shows for the price of one, says Paula Savage, director of City Gallery Wellington. They will gain a unique insight into the couple’s relationship which, like their art, has become legendary.
Frida and Diego on their wedding day… demonstrating together… meeting art patrons in America… relaxing at home with their pets… embracing tenderly at the kitchen table….The 80 photographs in Frida y Diego, Amores y Desamores (‘Love and Disaffection’) have been loaned by the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Studio Museum, Mexico City, where Paula Savage met director Blanca Garduno on her visit to Mexico in 1998. The images were taken by American master photographers Edward Weston, Emmy Lou Packard, Nicholas Muray and Ansel Adams, and famous Mexican photographers such as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Agustin Victor Casasola, Guillermo Zamora and Frida's father Guillermo Kahlo.
This exhibition has been made possible by the generous assistance of Mr Jorge Alvarez, the Ambassador of Mexico, who has played a key role in negotiations for this show, says Ms Savage. The Mexican Embassy is fully sponsoring Frida y Diego, Amores y Desamores, for which we are extremely grateful.
Highlights include one of the first photographs ever taken of Frida and Diego, showing the portly Diego striding alongside a diminutive Frida on a march for workers’ rights in 1929. Four months later, they were married, an event recorded by two formal studio portraits, also in the exhibition. As became her habit in posed photographs, Frida looks directly out at the viewer, seemingly defiant in the face of the emotional and physical pain that plagued her throughout her life.
When my father took my picture in 1932 after the accident, I knew that a battlefield of suffering was in my eyes. From then on, I looked straight at the lens, unflinching, unsmiling, determined to show that I was a good fighter to the end.-- Frida Kahlo
Other photographs have the quality of snap shots, showing the couple in unguarded moments. Frida took pleasure in her role as the doting wife in her first marriage to Diego, and one photograph shows her lovingly adjusting his tie. What makes this exhibition so fascinating is that many of these photographs have been taken by friends and family of Frida and Diego, says Mr Jorge Alvarez. So they hint at the couple’s relationship to the person behind the camera, as well. Nickolas Muray, who had a passionate but short-lived affair with Frida, has captured perhaps the show’s most intimate images.
The camera indeed reveals Frida Kahlo as a good fighter to the end, whether propped up in bed painting, or wheelchair-bound at a demonstration for Guatemala, just days before her death.