Monthly Archives: March 2013

Frida y Diego

Frida Kahlo – Self portrait with monkey

The current show at the High Museum, Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting, features Mexican revolutionary artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.  My excitement upon learning about this show was quickly squashed when I remembered that I no longer lived in Georgia, and would, unfortunately have to miss it.  Ever since seeing the movie Frida, I had been attracted to this truly inspiring woman.  However, as courageous and brave as Frida was, her artwork never really spoke to me. 

It wasn’t until I read the book The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver, that I began to think about Frida’s role with the Mexican revolutionaries and the communist party.  Frida’s paintings were a result of the pain she felt on an everyday basis due to a crippling train accident, and as a revolutionary, the pain she felt for her country.   In order to understand or even appreciate Frida’s paintings (and for that matter Diego Rivera’s) you need to understand the context in which they were created.

Diego Riveria – Portrait of Delores Olmedo

The Lacuna is a historical fiction novel that, in a series of journal entries, tells the story of a boy without a true home destined to hide in the shadows of greatness.  The unsung hero of the story, dubbed Soli by Frida, works as a servant in the home of the Riveras.  The Lacuna portrays a different side of the Frida I had learned about, a side that was selfish and insecure, and decidedly easier to identify with.   More interesting, though, was the Frida/ Diego story.  Their relationship was volatile, to say the least, based on a mutual talent for inspiring the masses, but characterized by a silent power struggle and an endless ploy for the other’s attention.

The show at the High Museum features 120 paintings and drawings done by the zealous couple as well as photographs of Frida and Diego which promise to shed some light on their relationship and the radical times in which they were painting.  The show is up until May 12, 2013.  Go see it, because I cannot! And I highly recommend The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.

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