Our Visit to the Bronx and Frida Kahlo—Art, Garden, Life [Photos]

Frida Kahlo Mexican artist

Latino artist showcased with indigenous Mexican culture and floura

 

It’s spring and the weather is definitely letting us know that it’s almost time for summer! There’s so much to do and see. I’ve been looking forward to the New York Botanical Garden’s much touted exhibit, Frida Kahlo-Art, Garden, Life….

 

Anyone looking to be totally immersed into the beauty of  Mexican culture and lore should head directly to The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx this summer. Their main exhibition is Frida Kahlo—Art, Garden, Life. The exhibit itself focuses on Frida’s relationship with nature and her painterly interpretations of botanical life. But the exhibit is wrapped in all things inspirational to Mexican culture—from music, foods, drink, art, spicy aromas—there is something for all the senses. The exhibit started May 16th and will continue until November 1st.

The beautiful signage for the exhibit using one of Frida’s paintings that show her wrapped in beautiful but deadly thorns. The symbolism of a monkey is usually based upon lust, but with Frida—it was more about a protective feeling. And the black cat—who knows—he looks very suspicious!

I have long been enamored by Frida Kahlo. She was a strong and independent woman who opened up the way for many female and specifically Latina artists to be recognized. Her spirit captures the essence of what it is to be a very strong 21st century woman so imagine the struggle to find her way during her prolific years of work in the mid 1900’s.

Frida’s work was coming into it’s own during the time of the Surrealist movement and many people tried to place her work into this category, but Frida’s works were more “reality” and true to her painful life experiences—her early accident that would cause her much physical pain throughout the rest of her life, her tumultuous marriage to a many times unfaithful Diego Rivera, her inability to have children, her lack of confidence in her work. Her work is a genuine reflection of Frida’s insecurities.

Sometimes just looking at the surface of her work, it appears to be very naïve and an almost “folk art” type of painting with beautiful bright, vivid colors of Mexico—its people, flora and fauna, but underneath it is a deeper meaning. I think that is what I admire in her work—there is a very 2-sided way to look at her work.

You can look at it on the surface for its beauty and rich color and portrayal of indigenous Mexican culture, but upon further introspection, you can start to feel what Frida was going through or trying to portray in her work.

The NYBG has made the exhibit an experience that everyone can enjoy even if you are not specifically a fan of gardens or art. There is music, performance art, Mexican food and drink, poetry……so much to be enjoyed…..so much that it might require a few visits and a few blog posts to take it ALL in!

I went for the opening day Saturday with my husband, sister and her boyfriend and we had a blast. Our afternoon at the gardens started with a walk through paths of beautiful foxglove spikes and lime yellow-green grasses to the tents to see the Villalobos Brothers playing to fans on the lawn.

Spring flowers

Some of the earliest spring plants bring a mix of warm and cool colors to the pathway leading to the sounds of the Villalobos Brothers music….

 

Villalobos Brothers band                    

A bit overcast but nonetheless gorgeous day for fans to kick back and enjoy the always amazing sounds of the Villalobos Brothers.

From here, we made a left to enter the Enid Haupt Conservatory building where the plants specific to Frida’s life in Casa Azul in Coyoacan, Mexico were recreated to provide the atomosphere of her home town.

 

Bronx Botanical Garden Conservatory                    

Entering the beautiful Enid Haupt Conservatory for the Frida Kahlo botanical experience

 

Azul wall

A recreation of the wall that exists at Casa Azul in Coyoacan, Mexico which has now been turned into a museum to Frida Kahlo.

Sun flowers

Some of the most true to Mexico plants that could ever exist—sunflowers and cacti!

Next- More on the exhibit

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About the author

Tina Trevino

Tina Trevino is the Senior Design Director of KBL Group Intl. Ltd. in NYC and manages their large creative design team and Director Community Relations for Latin Business Today. She shares all of her insight on upcoming fashion trends for the season with her team to start the collaborative design process. The company specializes in sweaters, knits and wovens. It provides product for ladies, men, contemporary, jr, and children. Tina specializes in coordinating directly with large US retailers to design exactly into their targeted customer needs. With many years under her belt in the industry, she has also gained the ability to go beyond the fashion component and help to work through sourcing, fitting, production and merchandising issues as well.