There are many things that I learned through the Frida & Diego exhibit. It was completely worthwhile, and I am glad to have seen the collection on its only North American stop on its current world tour. Frida is an artist I admire, partly because she surpassed her husband, Diego’s, fame, even if it was after her death. To try and summarize my perception of her before the exhibit, I would have said she is iconic and spent a lot of time painting herself and controlling her own image. She wore beautiful, colorful indigenous textiles and jewelry. She portrays herself with strength.

A few things I didn’t realize were:

  • Diego was a contemporary to Matisse and Picasso & ran in their same circles, spending time with them in Europe
  • Frida was in school to study medicine originally
  • Frida experienced a great deal of physical pain throughout her lifetime: polio, a bus accident, miscarriages, amputation of her foot and part of her leg, spinal issues, gangrene
  • It was the bus accident that prompted Frida to pick up painting while recovering
  • Frida used her image and self portrayal to her advantage, she had a lot of agency in this way, it was quite deliberate
  • Her family members were professional photographers (father & grandfather)
  • Diego & Frida spent much of their time apart, were married, divorced, and remarried

More to share later.



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