Commemorating Frida Kahlo’s life through an immersive experience
Frida Kahlo, one of the most famous and recognised Mexican painters in the contemporary art scene, recently got the immersive installation treatment with a dazzling light show at her hometown in México City. Through a modernised depiction of her paintings, the show aims to extend her visual legacy and inimitable sense of style to the younger generations.
"FRIDA, The Immersive Experience" took two and a half years to develop and began on July 6 to celebrate the artist's 114th birthday. Art enthusiasts who had the privilege to visit the venue watched Kahlo's paintings brought to life in a 35-minute light show. People have remarked the experience to be intimate, multisensory, and autobiographical as most of the paintings are self-portraits, shown while Mexican music, narration from her letters and diaries, sculpture and digital animation plays in the background. 90 projectors and 50 speakers were involved in making this colossal feat possible.
Among the 26 paintings that are featured in the exhibition, the notable ones are 'The Two Fridas', 'Self Portrait with Cropped Hair', 'Me and My Parrots', and 'The Broken Column'.
Besides this arrangement, there is a "Fantastic Creatures" room where visitors can choose figures from Kahlo's artwork that embody their personality, and an installation titled "Free Stroke", where they can let their creative juices flow by drawing digitally.
At the tender age of six, Kahlo contracted polio. Then at 18, she severely injured her ribs, shoulders, legs, and collarbone in a road accident. Later in life, she had a miscarriage and a turbulent marriage with Diego Rivero, a fellow artist. However, she did not let any of the unfortunate incidents break her stride. Rather, she began painting while convalescing after her accident and then went on to create her first self-portrait when she was only 19.
Despite being fraught with illness and disability, she amplified beauty, love, and compassion through her work. Her life and body became her greatest source of inspirations as well as her rhetoric canvases for her art.
When we think of Kahlo, vivid images of her self-portrait pop into our minds. She was known to paint self-portraits because she was often alone. This can be observed as she is always the only figure in her paintings. Occasionally, the figure is surrounded by images that portray Kahlo's psyche. Perhaps, she painted those so people could have some semblance of her struggles and feelings.
A woman ahead of her time, she won the hearts of people around the world through her art, and above all, through the strength and persistence with which she lived her life.
The author is a freelance journalist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.