Frida Kahlo has always been the face of strong, independent, badass women. I have admired her since a very young age, when I was personally trying to find my own place and voice in the world. When I was introduced to her work in early high school, the repetitive “self portrait” idea didn’t really strike me as interesting, since they all seemed to look the same and I couldn’t understand why she would highlight her imperfections for the world to see.
As I entered adulthood, I really understood it, and actually admired her more because she was able to look at herself in an honest light. Despite what the norms of society tried to force us to accept, she wanted everyone to see the real Frida, facial hair and all. Being proud of who she was made me actually become quite obsessed and intrigued by this mysterious woman.
Going to the Kahlo/Rivera exhibit at the Heard Museum was even more of an eye-opening experience. Besides short, surface level biographies I read, I had never really delved into her entire life and the relationship she shared with Diego Rivera. What a soap opera! There were so many layers to their relationship, her passionate nature and other heart-wrenching events that took place during the course of their marriage(s).
I won’t go into too much detail and ruin the element of wonder and surprise, but I will say that her famous self-portaits, which I thought I would stand and admire for hours, became a side note to her other symbolic work and beautiful photographs taken by photographers, friends and lovers.
The exhibit is only open until August 20th. Tickets are $18 (for adults) to enter the museum, and then another $7 for entrance to the Kahlo/Rivera exhibit. It was worth every penny and I may even return before they shut it down.
**Admission discounts are offered for kids, senior citizens and students with a college ID.