A Day with Frida Kahlo

(Originally posted: November 6, 2015)

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NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN, BRONX, NY- The New York Botanical Garden recently hosted an exhibit; Frida Kahlo: Art. Garden. Life. It was an exhibition featuring work by Kahlo and inspired by her life as an artist in La Caza Azul in Mexico. All over the garden you can sense Frida and her culture. I went with Gilberto to see it for myself.

It was an usually cold day for October. I put on my coat for the first time since March along with a pair of leg warmers. Many people were bundled up, proving that the cold was not stopping them from seeing Frida’s work. There was a nice banner outside the Botanical Garden Gallery with one of Frida’s self portraits. A small screen played a video describing Frida’s life. After climbing four flights of stairs, we arrived at the art gallery.

The walls were decorated with information on Frida, her husband Diego Rivera (who was a muralist and 20 years her senior), La Caza Azul, Frida’s love for nature, and her influence in Mexico. In a small room hanged 14 pieces of her artwork. These included sketches, drawings, oil paintings, and a self portrait. Her self portrait was my favorite piece. The colors were beautiful and the nature elements amazed me.

Down a flight of stairs was an art piece created by a sculpture artist. He created “The Two Fridas” into a 3D masterpiece using tissue paper, wires, and paint. The two hearts connecting gave me a sense that Frida often had conflicts with her artistic self and her true self.  Next to the sculptures were glass cases full of the herbs and plants found in Mexico. On the ground floor was a photographic map of all the landmarks and locations that Frida loved or are in honor of her in Mexico City.

A short walk from the Botanical Garden gallery was the conservatory. Here, we got to experience a part of La Caza Azul. The air was warm and I appreciated it due to the bitter cold wind. Plants were set up to represent the flowers Frida would put in her hair, her cactus fence around the house, and the love she had for plants. Nature influenced her paintings so much. There were also agricultural plants from many parts of Latin America. We visited the pond where color fish swam round. At least in this area I was allowed to take photos.

After seeing Frida’s work, Gil and I took a hike along the trail within the Botanical Garden. The waterfall is a site I love to visit when I come to the garden, so we stopped by there before taking a tram ride back to the main gate. The tram ride was chilly, but it saved us walking time.

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I enjoyed this exhibit since it was the first time Gil and I got to see Frida’s work up close. Although she suffered from poor health, her work is inspirational. The exhibit closed this past weekend. For more information here is the link: http://www.nybg.org/frida/

Photos by: Rosa Elena Burgos.

Last Updated: July 31, 2019