The Complete Works of Frida Kahlo. Kind of.

Being a women’s history fan and a museum professional, I found this story very interesting. An exhibition titled The Complete Frida Kahlo. Her Paintings. Her Life. Her Story is making it’s North American debut in San Diego. It’s appeal: it has for the first-time ever (and probably forever) pretty much all of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s paintings, sketches, etc. in one place. They are also alongside her clothes and furniture. The catch is that they are all replicas.

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I have to say, I want to see this. And I am not at all put off by the fact that they are replicas. I think this exhibition is breaking the mold and showing that art is also a human production. History museums and history exhibitions have been displaying replicas and “of the time period but not original to the house” objects forever. I find it very refreshing that someone made the decision to do this with fine art.

And I can think of no better artist than Frida Kahlo to take this leap. Her work and her life are so intertwined with her biography, the history of Mexico, the international art scene, Modernism, on and on. You can not study or appreciate Kahlo’s work with out understanding history or her biography. She is a icon and just as this co-curator states in the interview…she’s crazy about Frida. Everyone is.

The work of Frida Kahlo is a great example of an artist whose body of work is so dispersed across the globe that audiences will never be able to see it all together. So, even if they are replicas, to see the complete oeuvre of the Grandmother of the Feminist Art Movement in one place, I have to support that.

Here is an interview of one of the co-curators: