I was about 14 years old when I first noticed Frida Kahlo’s art at my friend Rebecka’s place. It was a print of the painting “Árbol de la Esperanza/Tree of Hope”, with a wounded Frida lying on her side only showing her back, and another Frida sitting strong by her side. At that moment it was her pain that spoke to me. But after looking up more of her art, it was the duality and the constant struggle with her identity that captured me forever, especially the painting “Las Dos Fridas/The Two Fridas”– showing one Frida in a European-style dress and the other in traditional Mexican clothing. One Frida representing her European heritage from her father’s side, and the other representing the heritage of her mother and Mexico.
Frida’s art and herself have since that moment been a very present inspiration for my art – and when I heard that the Gothenburg Museum of Art was hosting a 3 month exhibition of both Frida’s and Diego Rivera’s art, I think my heart skipped a beat – and naturally we were there for the opening this last Sunday!
Walking around the exhibit with Rebecka, I believe was the closest I’ve felt to being starstruck. To see the actual paintings that they had created was amazing – maybe a bit too fascinating, since a guard had to warn us not to get that close or we would set off the alarm… But anyone who loves to paint themselves will know the feeling of seeing your idol’s art that close, close enough to touch (not that I ever would … ). To be able to see the shadowing, the colors, the detail of the brush strokes – everything that a picture can never truly capture
Needless to say that I can’t wait to visit again – prepared with a sketchbook this time…