The art and the turbulent life of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo are the subject of the new exhibition “Frida: Immersive Dream”

Probably the most famous female painter in the world is treated immersively in Toronto.

“Frida: Immersive Dream” sheds light on the life and work of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in an exhibition opening next March.

Svetlana Dvoretsky, co-founder of producer Lighthouse Immersive, said in an interview that the Kahlo show is part of a trilogy that Italian digital artist Massimiliano Siccardi imagined when he started working with the company two years ago at the exhibition “Immersive Van Gogh ” to work.

The Dutch painter van Gogh is the first part; The Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, subject of “Immersive Klimt: Revolution”, the second and now Kahlo the third.

“Every artist represents a revolution,” said Dvoretsky.

Van Gogh pioneered the “impasto” technique, which created texture by applying paint in thick layers, while Klimt was part of an avant-garde cultural movement in Vienna.

Kahlo is both a revolutionary and a revolutionary artist, said Dvoretsky.

“She was fascinated by the communist party, by the (Mexican) revolution, by what Lenin and Marx supported at the time; she marched in parades with people who wanted to change the regime and so on and so on.

“For me she is an extraordinary woman.”

It is also popular with famous artists.

Just this month, a self-portrait by Kahlo, “Diego y yo” or “Diego and I,” featuring the artist with a picture of husband Diego Rivera on her forehead, went for $ 34.9 million in a Sotheby’s sale . the most expensive auctioned work by a Latin American artist.

Kahlo – known for her bold, surrealist paintings as well as her colorful personal style, including her unibrow – received Hollywood treatment in 2002 when Salma Hayek starred in “Frida,” the Oscars for Best Makeup and Best Original music won.

Kahlo and fellow artist Rivera were the subject of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2012, subtitled “Passion, Politics and Painting,” which focused not only on the couple’s art, but also on their roller coaster relationship and political activism.

Although Rivera was the more famous artist during her lifetime, Kahlo was revered not only as a painter but also as a feminist icon. And as with Van Gogh, part of the fascination has to do with the difficulties she went through in her lifetime.

In a 2012 story about the AGO show, the star’s reviewer said that Kahlo’s personal genius was “transforming great personal pain – an accident at 18 that resulted in lifelong surgeries; a miscarriage and infertility confirmation at age 25; a marriage to Diego that was marked by repeated, mutual adultery – a force that is both disturbing and healing. “

That accident, a bus-road accident in 1925, left Kahlo with serious injuries that caused lifelong problems, but also marked the beginning of her art as she began producing self-portraits while recovering. Later in life, part of her right leg was also amputated due to gangrene, and when she was born in 1954 – just a week after she turned 47.

“She was absolutely joyful, but her life was a very serious mixture of pain and love,” said Dvoretsky. “And what she did as an artist, she was very open and honest with everything. It was not politically correct. She was out there. “

Dvoretsky suspects that part of Kahlo’s current fame has to do with the rising interest in extraordinary women in general.

“How difficult it would have been for her to stand next to Diego, someone so extraordinarily famous … and she just started painting,” said Dvoretsky.

“It took so much courage to say, ‘Yes, I am an artist; yes i am talented; yes i am worthy; yes, I can do it ‘… I find it very inspiring. “

Some of Kahlo’s most famous paintings will be featured in Immersive Dream, such as The Two Fridas, The Wounded Deer and Diego and I, along with photographs, drawings and excerpts from documentaries about them.

As with “Immersive Van Gogh,” the Kahlo show will feature animated projections by Siccardi and a musical score by Luca Longobardi, although Corey Ross, co-founder of Lighthouse Immersive, said Kahlo’s works “are presented in a format very different from that that (Siccardi) used in the investigation of Van Gogh and Klimt. “

Lighthouse Immersive is a pioneer of this type of entertainment in Toronto and opened “Immersive Van Gogh” in July 2020 in the former printing plant of the Toronto Star at 1 Yonge St. This show, which has sold more than four million tickets here, has grown since then expanded to 19 American cities.

The company’s five-story Toronto space now houses four exhibits, including “Immersive Klimt: Revolution”, “Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle” and the dance show “Touch”, choreographed by Guillaume Côté.

“Frida: Immersive Dream” opens on March 31st at the Lighthouse Immersive Gallery at 1 Yonge Street. Tickets will go on sale on November 30th at 10 a.m. on

Debra Yeo is the assistant editor and contributor to the entertainment section of Star. It is based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @realityeo

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