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Frida Kahlo : Love and Revolution

I can’t tell you how excited I was to discover Frida Kahlo was coming to Adelaide in the form of the Frida & Diego : Love & Revolution exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia. I missed out on the exhibition held in Canberra close to a decade ago so this one being on home turf was a definite must.


Discovering Frida


I must admit that I only really discovered Frida in the early 2000s when Salma Hayek portrayed her in the motion picture, Frida! Needless to say, I was hooked!



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Self Portrait as a Tehuana, Frida Kahlo, 1943

(Photo: Vanessa Osborne, 2023)



Not only was her life fascinating, but the journey was also a lesson in history that I had had little exposure to. As I got older and wiser, I often stumbled across interesting times in history through movies and novels. These have become obsessions, enticing me to explore further. It makes one realise how lucky we are to be where we are, for even when times are tough, there have been much tougher times had!



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Frida Kahlo on White Bench, Nickolas Muray, 1939

(Photo: Vanessa Osborne, 2023)



Frida’s experiences through devastating injury, illness, and the trials and tribulations of life made her what she was. A highly influential woman, a feminist, a political activist, someone who continuously overcame obstacles thrown at her, and of course a hugely inspiring artist! Frida wore her heart on her sleeve (or on the canvas). We could see what her influences were and, in some cases, the pain from which they arose.


The mirror has two faces


Interestingly, her self-portraits did not capture her true beauty. Maybe she was like the rest of us and judged herself harshly, not doing herself justice. Or maybe her expressions represented her pain and suffering (ever so stoically).




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Frida Kahlo with Red Rebozo, Nickolas Muray, 1939

(Photo: Vanessa Osborne, 2023)


Life in colour


And how about those wonderful gowns she wore! Another highlight of this exhibition was to see Frida's vibrantly beautiful Tehuana dresses and Mexican rebozos (shawls). The workmanship is breathtaking. Stunning to behold, for Frida the dresses not only reflected cultural heritage, but also contributed to her comfort and covering up the braces and corsets that were a lifetime necessity following the tram accident that left her in constant pain.




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Collection of Frida Kahlo Tehuana Dresses

(Photo: Vanessa Osborne, 2023)




Artist's inspiration



Of course, there was much more to see than just Frida paintings, photos, and memorabilia. There was Diego Rivera and a vast collection of other artists, and a story of their importance to the political climate at that time. I must admit, I was there for Frida!



To see a modest collection of her most famous paintings in the flesh was thrilling. The colour, the composition, the feelings! Perfectly, beautifully executed paintings like none other I have seen. Visiting the exhibition was definitely a ‘WOW’ moment for me.




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The Bride Who Becomes Frightened When She Sees Life Opened, Frida Kahlo, 1943

(Photo: Vanessa Osborne, 2023)


I hope you have shared a small part of my excitement in reading this short account of my visit and seeing some of the photos! Frida Kahlo is one of my favourite artists and provides endless inspiration through her paintings and life story.


Now I invite you to visit my online gallery! My name is Vanessa Osborne and I am a South Australian artist. I create colourful paintings of oversized blooms and large scale florals.


Visit my website at www.vanessaosborneart.com


If you have any questions about my paintings, please don't hesitate to email me at vanessaosborneart@gmail.com







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