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Review: Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera @ Art Gallery NSW

By Liliana Maria Occhiuto


The Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition was truly a sight to behold. For any Frida freaks out there, this was an experience that can be described as nothing less than cathartic. The exhibition is one that opens with Frida Kahlo’s iconic self-portrait Diego on My Mind (1943). When observing this charming self-portrait, a wave of euphoria washed over me. Merely standing in the presence of Kahlo’s work was an experience well worth the ticket pricing.

With classics such as Self Portrait With Monkeys (1943) and Self Portrait With Braid (1941) alongside an abundance of archival footage, we get a genuine glimpse into the lives of both Frida and Diego. By incorporating sketches illustrating the beginnings of great works such as The Henry Ford Hospital (1932), the exhibition really allows us to make sense of how Kahlo’s skills grew throughout her life. With select paintings from Rivera, we see a difference in artistic styles, but also get a sense of how they helped influence one another’s work.

When observing the documented footage of Frida and Diego on screen, it is clear why so many people are captivated by Frida’s powerful aura. Her enigmatic personality really shines through in the selection of photos and films documenting her life and available to us. By watching the two interact with one another in a film shot by Nickolas Muray, a genuine sense of passion can be seen between Diego and Frida.

The personable approach to this exhibition really captures the vivacity harboured by both Frida and Diego. It is definitely an exhibition that any art lover would live for – because honestly, not much compares to seeing the detailed brush strokes of Kahlo’s brilliant work.