As it was Easter Sunday I was elated to see the museum bustling with people there to see the Frida Kahlo + Diego Rivera, Mexican Modern Art at the NSU Art Museum, Ft. Lauderdale. The museum also offered a fine display of Picasso ceramics with photos of the master and drawings, the superb photography collection from the Martin Z. Margulies Collection, Miami, a few large scale Schnabel digital works with paint smeared on them and the Glakens permanent collection.
With a diverse offering the museum is a great place for educational field trips. We encountered an enthusiast docent who offered lesser know insights into Kahlo the woman her work and her relationship with Rivera and other artists of her time. The museum has strict policies for photography so only a few quick shots were possible before the guards politely informed me that photos were not permitted.
I did return to find some of the works from the show on line. With the art fresh in my mind I adjusted the images to be a true to the color as possible. I am happy to share these here.
Before there were “selfies” there were centuries of self portraits, in fact I have a book titled 500 Self Portraits published by Phaidon I would share with my students while we discussed concepts for their self portraits. Personally I am inspired by portraits that tell a story that can be told with images, color and mark. Like Frida I have turned to self portraiture during moments where my journey was getting interesting.
I have always been drawn to Surrealism. The idea that reality can be depicted through multiple points of view has been an integral part of my entire body of work. Thoughts, emotions and representation emerge through a surrealist process of allowing for subconscious decisions while making work. One image can be interpreted on several levels, spiritual, physical and emotional. This has and continue to be the affinity I have had for Frida’s work
Large still life. Oil on canvas.
I have always felt that still life's were a form of self portraiture as long as the objects had personal meaning to the artist. Frida's later works became less focused on her physical appearance and turn to morphine influenced still lives. Every item in the work symbolically replacing the image of her face.
I always enjoy some personal artifacts that enhance the museum experience. Also shown here but not in the museum La Casa Azul. the Frida Museum in Mexico.
am all for experimentation with digital art and it is inspiring to see the scale can be as impressive as the large paintings in the Louvre. Somehow though technically interesting the overall effect is under-wheming, especially in the presence of smaller more emotive works.
I will leave it to my readers to make "make an assessment" of Schnabel's work. I highly respect his film making endeavors and have watched the artist evolve over time. His forward movement is respectable however it leaves me staying only for a second.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to visit Kahlo’s work right here in Ft Lauderdale. A half a century after her passing Frida continues to draw admirers of all ages, the work,s still mysterious and an enigma to most.