Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Frida Kahlo in London
My Personal Trainer and I headed out to the Tate Modern this morning to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit. (yes, yes, sports fans, this meant we missed our morning run).
The most interesting thing I took away from the exhibit was how the Cult of Personality was in force, even then. Kahlo, who married, divorced and married Diego Rivera, was known for her surrealist pictures, but also for her traditional Mexican dress. She always wore it, first to impress Rivera, but eventually I think it became part of her "thing" and people expected it of her.
You think of the 1940s and 1950s as being a more simple time, when artists were judged on merit alone, but my sense is that in her case, that just wasn't so. She was known as much for her marriage to Rivera and the drama associated with it, as for her art. Interestingly, they had two self portraits of Kahlo and Rivera side by side and when I compared them, it seemed to me that technically Rivera was a better artist. My friend Caroline, who was with me and is an artist herself, agreed.
My Personal Trainer seemed to like the exhibit, for the most part, but near the end I had to feed him raisins to keep him quiet. I also found myself shamelessly asking him, in a Middle Class/ aspirational kind of way, what color this or that was. However, when there were other people standing near us, I stacked the deck in his favor because I only pointed to those things that were blue, which is what he thinks every color is these days. So the strangers think he's a genius, while I secretly know better.
The exhibit runs until October 9.