Frida Khalo : The Exhibit

A beautiful summer day and a trip up to the New York Botanical Garden to see the much awaited Frida Khalo exhibit.

A very short history for those that do not know the Mexican artist. Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) taught herself to paint after being severely injured in a bus accident at the age of 18. A life filled with pain and suffering, her painting were cathartic and her images symbolic of pain, death and rebirth.

The first portion of the exhibit is housed in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library art gallery and has fourteen original artwork from the artist, including one of her best known works””Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.”Photography was not allowed in the gallery and pictures do not do it justice anyway.

Frida, however loved to have fun and had a love for life. Her paintings were heavily influenced by flora and she was a very experienced gardener. Together with Diego Rivera, her husband, she created a beautiful setting in the gardens of “Casa Azul” (The Blue house), the house where she was born and later died.

The second part of the exhibit is housed in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and is truly breathtaking. a tribute to Casa Azul and the artist’s love for the flora and fauna of Mexico.

The cobalt blue walls of “Casa Azul” welcomes the visitor into a walkway filled with flowers and succulents, recreating the artist’s home in an imaginative way, transporting you to years gone by and one could almost see Frida and Diego strolling ahead.

In the center is a replica of Diego’s pyramid, which was built to house his many pre- Hispanic artifacts.

Frida’s studio, along the path..what I would give to sit and paint in those surroundings!

The “Frog Fountain”, has serpents and frogs, symbolic of fertility in pre- Hispanic era, and the artist and her husband’s fascination with the same. Interestingly, Frida nicknamed Diego a “toad-frog” on account of his protruding eyes and he signed his letters to her with this name. 

The Lotus pond outside is absolutely magnificent with numerous varieties and colors.

I caught a dragon fly on a budding one!

Did I mention the bougainvilleas? I grew up with them in India and I do miss them them here in the United States.

I cannot even begin to talk about the numerous other flowers on the paths, the birds of paradise, the fragrant Jasmine and the fruit laden trees..it truly is a site to behold. 

Hungry? There is a Taco truck on hand for a quick and casual bite of authentic Mexican food, which I might add is delicious!

One could use the mobile site provided by the gardens to learn more on the exhibit as well as do “Frida selfies”..a lot of fun!

If you are lucky enough to visit the Gardens during select weekends, you can go to the “Frida Al Fresco” nights, filled with music, live performances and food. Visit the site here for dates.

I walked away, having learnt so much more, inspired by Frida and her Mexico, ready to create!

PS..I intend including Mexico in the next series of paintings for the “Travel Scarves”..my tribute to Frida!

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