Frida on Netflix

Frida netflix

Julie Taymor directs this Oscar-winning biopic of painter Frida Kahlo, focusing on her often rocky relationship with husband Diego Rivera and her controversial political and sexual reputation (she was a communist and openly bisexual).

Another film I have watched on Netflix, was ‘Frida’, pictured above. Also, below there is a video link of the full film on youtube. The film itself shows the traumas of Frida Kahlos life. It shows her as a young child in Mexico leading up to her tram accident in which her first intense pain started. The film focuses on her relationship with her husband Diego Rivera and her struggles with her back after her accident which ultimately leads to her inability to have children. The film also educates further into Frida Kahlo’s political views and her sexual reputation, showing her affair with Trotsky and her sexuality (bi-sexual).

The film shows the pain that she endured but also her determination and strength as a traumatised woman. Through her tragedies, she continues to paint some of her greatest works, manages to walk once again and attends her greatest exhibition of works whilst still in her bed.


Frida Kahlo

Mexican Surrealist painter Frida Kahlo painted her inner trauma caused by horrific tragedies in her life. She never had any offspring due to miscarriage, which effected her greatly and was expressed in her work (pictured below) with unhappiness and pain with herself present in the trauma. Along with her traumatic experience with being unable to reproduce, she was also involved in a traffic accident on a tram in Mexico which let her bed bound/ in a wheelchair (pictured above). Kahlo often paints self portraits of herself, portraying herself as a much uglier woman with a sad expression- these are very recognisable due to her monobrow and flowers that she wore in her hair. Her most famous works are the most critical on her life, ‘What the water gave me’ (bottom) shows Frida Kahlo’s feet in the bath surrounded by different elements of her life, past, present and particularly of death. Her inability to have a child with her husband Diego Rivera touched the artist deeply, reflecting in her work. Letters sent to her doctor, Dr Eloesser, kept until 15 years after her death revealed her grief:  ‘Doctorcito querido: I have wanted to write to you for a long time than you can imagine. I had so looked forward to having a little Dieguito that I cried a lot, but it’s over, there is nothing else that can be done except to bear it.’

Frida Kahlo- ‘Henry Ford Hospital’ 1932

Frida Kahlo – ‘What the water gave me’ 1939

The devastation in Frida Kahlo’s work is horrific and terrifying, particularly to a woman who can relate to the problems of pregnancy. The use of Kahlos work in my virtual show bring a sense of nightmare and horror. The painting ‘What the water gave me’ could be cropped into sections which would flash continuously  with just another time to see what the image is, ending with the full image of the painting. Then following this, would another artists work of the show appear or the other artists work could be flashing in the same way. This would be a continuous cycle within a enclosed room, giving a atmosphere that was uneasy and in some cases, unfamiliar.

Little Ashes

little ashes

Little Ashes

”This evocative film explores the relationship between two of the 20th century’s most notable Spanish artists: poet Federico García Lorca and surrealist Salvador Dalí. Along with filmmaker Luis Buñuel, they take the country by storm.”

Netflix is great for arty, inspiring films. I came across Little Ashes- a movie about Salvador Dali and poet, Federico Garcia Lorca. Although the movie was more so about the relationship the two artists had together, showing a romance between them, there was still indication to Salvador Dali himself and the kind of artist he was. Salvador Dali believed that creating surrealist paintings was not enough and that one should live surreal-ly. The movie shows a insight to his abnormal approach to painting and to life.

Virtual Curation

One of the tasks I am faced with at the moment at University is the curation of a virtual show. Similarly to a collaborative curation project that I have been working on with 8 other students, leading to a final show which was exhibited recently.

Also ongoing at the moment is my Establishing Practice module, developing personal art practice, therefore it seems wise to focus on the same or similar theme in which my Establishing Practice is based upon. I have been focusing on Avant-Garde art, particularly of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. The virtual show must have all the components of a actual exhibition, it must be detailed, like a plan which means I will gather artists, create floor plans, leaflets/posters etc. When initially thinking about what sort of show I would create for this project, I was automatically drawn to surrealism and the idea of entering into a new realm, dreams, drugs- entering the unconscious part of the brain that surrealist considered the better half.

In modern society I feel that for many people, there is still this urge to enter into a new realm as a escapism. Whether this is done by cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, music, gambling- i’m not sure but I know all of us do something to escape the things we don’t want to deal with in life. Many of the surrealist painted their dreams, the true insight to their minds. For many, their works would contain symbols or vague images of what was there, however their were some surrealist who painted vivid images of what they said were their dreams. Salvador Dali, one of the most famous surrealist artists painted detailed images of his dreams, opening the viewers eyes and mind into the thoughts of Dali’s world.

I want to challenge the viewer within my virtual show, I want them to experience a dream within a room- not just a image of a dream. We know more today about dreams then we did back then, so creating the illusion seems more possible.

Mike Nelson M6 – ESP

Mike Nelson M6 – ESP.

A show I visited not so long ago was M6 – Mike Nelson at East Side Projects, Digbeth, Birmingham. Mike Nelson is described as ‘one of the most significant artists working in the UK today’ and this is one of his first exhibitions in his ‘home region’. I attended the preview evening of the exhibition on January 11 and have wrote about it in terms of the curation of the collaborative show I am in the process of doing at the moment referring to the exhibition and the press release. Go take a read!