Shows & Exhibitions
Frida Kahlo’s Family Members Say a New Immersive Exhibition Dedicated to Her Work Is Nothing Short of ‘Revolutionary’
"Frida would be very happy," one family member said.
Frida Kahlo‘s great grandniece, who worked for a year to help produce “Immersive Frida Kahlo,” the digitally animated light show based on the great Surrealist’s work, says she is overwhelmed with joy by the exhibition.
Mara Romero Kahlo, the granddaughter of Cristina Kahlo, Kahlo’s sister, and Mara’s daughter, Mara De Anda, traveled to Boston for the opening of the show, which incorporates not only Kahlo’s art, but also family snapshots and historical photographs from her lifespan.
“I was crying in the moment,” Mara Kahlo, who serves as president of the Fundación Familia Kahlo, told Artnet News. “You feel our family, the heart of Frida, the music, the emotion, everything—it’s spectacular.”
The touring Kahlo exhibition, which is set to appear in nine North American cities this year, is the latest offering from producer Massimiliano Siccardi, the organizer of the blockbuster “Immersive Van Gogh,” as well as “Immersive Klimt: Revolution.” And as with Van Gogh, there are already imitators: “Mexican Geniuses: A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience” opens in London and Washington, D.C. in the spring.
Organizers told Artnet News that the decision to incorporate biographical and historical information into the Kahlo display was not a response to criticisms that the Van Gogh show glossed over his mental health issues and ultimate suicide.
“Absolutely not,” Svetlana Dvoretsky, co-founder of Lighthouse Immersive, the company organizing North American tours of Siccardi’s productions, told Artnet News. “Frida is a representation of so many aspects of social and political issues in modern history. Massimiliano felt the special importance of showing who she was as a human being and a person, not just her art. Frida is Frida and Van Gogh is Van Gogh.”
Kahlo’s family—which launched a legal campaign against toymaker Mattel in 2018 when it made a non-unibrowed Kahlo Barbie—also gave its stamp of approval to “Frida: La Experiencia Immersiva,” a similar production staged last summer in Mexico City by the National Bank of Mexico Citibanamex and OCESA, a Mexican promotion company. But Mara Kahlo and De Anda were especially moved by Siccardi’s approach.
“We were very confident that Massimo would deliver a wonderful experience,” De Anda told Artnet News. “And you’re really immersed. You feel in some parts a little dizzy, with the music and the marvelous way that they used the technology.”
In Boston, the exhibition sprawls over 500,000 cubic feet and includes reproductions of masterpieces such as The Two Fridas, The Wounded Deer, and Diego and I. Tickets start at $39.
“Frida would be very happy that art has evolved to [include] this technology, which is used magnificently,” De Anda said. “She is like this exhibition, revolutionary.”
See more photos from the exhibition below.
“Immersive Frida Kahlo” is on view at Lighthouse ArtSpace Boston, the Castle, 130 Columbus Avenue, Boston, February 10–May 8, 2022.
The exhibition is also on view at Lighthouse ArtSpace Dallas, 507 S. Harwood Street, Dallas, February 3–April 17, 2022; 1314 Britmoore Road, Houston, February 17–April 17, 2022; Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, 108 W. Germania Place, Chicago, February 24–May 28, 2022; Lighthouse ArtSpace Denver, 3900 Elati Street, Denver, March 3–May 30, 2022; 1 Yonge Street, Toronto, March 31–May 29, 2022; and Lighthouse ArtSpace Los Angeles, 6400 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, March 31–June 11, 2022. Dates for outings in Pittsburgh and San Francisco are forthcoming.
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