Reactions to the Movie Frida

This summer I watched the movie Frida, written by and starring Salma Hayek. The film represents a biography of her life from her teenage years to her death, encompassing everything from the bus accident that crippled her to the beginning of her art career to her troubled relationship with Diego Rivera. I was interested in watching the movie because it was fairly popular in the United States when it first came out, and I was curious to see how such a widely viewed piece of media was conveying the complicated figure that was Frida Kahlo to an American audience, one that may not necessarily have a lot of background info on the artist or the politics and culture of her time. 

[Read more…]

Politics and Culture in Mexican Modernism Art Exhibit

I recently visited the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, where there is an exhibit titled “Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection.” The Frist’s website gives a description of the exhibit and some background info about the featured artists, particularly Kahlo and Rivera, and includes a lot about the political and cultural importance of their art in post-revolutionary Mexico. This, as well as the fact that the first thing to meet my eye upon entering the exhibit was a large panel outlining the connection of these artists with the ideas of the Mexican Revolution, gave me the impression walking into the museum that the exhibit would have a very clear emphasis on the culture and politics of the artists. 

[Read more…]

The Artistic Portrayal of the Mexican Revolution and its Effect on the Common Understanding of its Values and Success

With this project, I hope to answer the question of whether or not the US public understanding of Mexican Revolutionary art presents a whitewashed, less radical image of what the revolutionaries and the artists actually believed in. How, if at all, have very radical revolutionary values like workers’ rights, land redistribution, and indigenous rights been transferred to the US understanding of the Mexican Revolution through the works of artists who supported these values? What does the representation of artists such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Jose Guadalupe Posada in the US suggest with regards to our attitudes towards Mexican culture since the Revolution? What level of cultural understanding does this artwork provide us with, and does it detract from our comprehension of the political reality in Mexico?  

[Read more…]