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Fridamania: Celebrating Frida Kahlo’s 110th Birthday
By: Riya Shah, UT Austin
It’s a Frida Fest here at the Dallas Museum of Art! Fueled by the rediscovery of Frida Kahlo along with a biopic in her name, Fridamania has kicked off once again. In celebration of the DMA’s widely successful México exhibit featuring artists such as Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and Frida Kahlo, the museum decided to host Kahlo’s 110th birthday party.
Photo by Ricky Ferrer, Courtesy of D Magazine
Over 1,000 women, children, and men united together with bright colors, bold unibrows, and thousands of flowers to memorialize Frida’s lasting mark on feminism and the art world. Now, all these people gathered in one place and in one costume can only mean one thing: a Guinness World Record! The DMA and the Latino Center for Leadership Development put this event together in hopes of beating the world record for the highest number of people dressed as Frida Kahlo at one event. Let me just say, the turnout was “bigger than anyone ever expected,” which is a phrase I overheard by a museum staff member. Here’s a glimpse of my Snapchat Story that day to prove it:
“Strong Women” a particularly eye-catching section in the exhibit, highlights artworks by Rosa Rolanda, Dolores Olmedo, Tina Modotti, and Lola Álvarez along with the prized pieces by Frida Kahlo. This space brings together these lesser-known female artists with the familiarity of Frida’s work to send a message about the emotional pursuit of finding one’s identity as a woman during these tumultuous times in Mexico. In my opinion, the most notable art piece was Kahlo’s The Two Fridas: here Kahlo expertly portrays the duality of her personal experiences with Mexican history.
Juchitan River (1953 – 55) by Diego Rivera, Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News
To top off the night after the exhibition, we watched some beautiful, interpretative dance by the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, which transported us to the mind and world of Frida Kahlo. Then, we celebrated Frida’s storied legacy with endless margaritas and birthday cake (well I only had cake)!
A picture captured by mom while I was staring at The Two Fridas (1939) for over half an hour
This exhibition is a once in a lifetime opportunity; only Dallasites have the opportunity to view these iconic masterpieces, which symbolize the struggle of Mexico during the 20th century. In the today’s art scene, where European artwork is the focal point, it’s refreshing to catch a glimpse of Mexican and Central American art so close to home. If you miss the chance in Dallas, you can always catch a flight to Mexico City!
Riya with her family at the Dallas Museum of Art
México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde
Closes July 16, 2017*
1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201
*July 14-16 the exhibition will remain open until 9:00 p.m