Monday, November 5, 2007

Frida Kahlo at the Walker Art Center

Oh to be so rich that I could afford to be eccentric - loco enough to just jump on a plane to Minneapolis in order to see this latest Show of the supreme self absorbed, pansexual, feminist (sort of) Mexican artist’s self-portraits. In my teaching days students would often make disparaging remarks concerning Frida’s appearance, the mono-brow, vestigial mustache, jet-black hair, and so on. I would reply truthfully that I thought Frida was beautiful, and that her self-portraits spoke to so much more than the artifice of surface beauty. That would lead to a discussion of her cosmology, her difficult pain filled life, and her love for Diego Rivera. My young women students did not understand how Frida managed to love Diego, but the young men often made nasty remarks concerning Frida’s masculine appearance and pansexuality. Being a public school classroom teacher in the first decade of the 21st century, these remarks had to be glossed over with a statement like, “John, we can’t explore that aspect of her life here because it is inappropriate to an art classroom.” How sad that we Americans are incapable of looking at ourselves as sexual creatures with individual variations on an infinite God given theme.

Be that as it may, since I'm not disgustingly rich, I wish I could beam myself to Minneapolis today and visit Frida at the Walker Art Center.

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