Field Trip

I really want to write all about what I did the other night. But the first rule of Television and Movie Extra Club is,

“You can’t talk about what you did in
Television and Movie Extra Club.”

So instead, I took my new movie star friend (who shall remain nameless) and went on my very favorite field trip.

The art museum. After lunch. When the school buses are gone.

The Bug & The High

The current special exhibition at The High Museum of Atlanta is…

Frida and Diego!

I’ll go ahead and be completely honest about this one. A month ago all I really knew about Frida Kahlo was that…
1) She was from Mexico, and
2) She sported a rather impressive unibrow.

(That second point alone was enough for me to admire her and also to remind me of my own vanity – I own 4 pairs of tweezers and try to keep them in places of high convenience)

So when I heard about the new exhibit
I threw myself into heavy research.

In other words, I read her Wikipedia entry and watched the movie, Frida, with Salma Hayek. I thought that the movie was really fantastic and that I was prepared to “get something out of” the exhibit at The High.

I’m so glad I had the background, because the story was so alive when I saw Frida and Diego Rivera’s work in person.

Lean in

From what I’ve seen, there are a few different types of art viewers. I’m not going to try and classify them all but I know where I fit in. I’m a leaner. When I see a piece that speaks to me with its form, mood, and color (mostly color), I leeeeeean into it. It’s easier to feel what the painter was feeling when I can see the brushstrokes and the density of the paint.

I think that’s where the soul of the piece is. In the paint.

One of my very favorite artists, Henri Matisse, has a magnificent use of color, but he also speaks volumes through his visible charcoal and pencil drawings underneath. You gotta lean in to see that sort of stuff, folks. Gather mood from the middle of the gallery but get your eyes all up on the surface to find the heart.

The Frida exhibit had so much heart. Her works made a hollow place in my belly that tried to consume all the life force around it. Like you’re hungry and crampy and about to cry all at once.

(I was ready for that since I get choked up every time I walk into the museum anyway)

Diego’s work was truly beautiful. I loved the transition from realism to cubism and then to his large canvases and murals of (and for) “the people”.

But the heart was in Frida’s. Not only from the center of the gallery with shapes, forms, and color, but also up close in the patient brushstrokes of tiny strands of hair. Even her signature was markedly different from one piece to the next.

Frida’s life was being held together. Not only by metal braces and heavy plaster casts, but also by delicate ribbons and string.

Maybe it’s because I have felt just a very small portion of her life’s pain before. I’m sure we all have had some measure of it. Her art taps into that pain, and in doing so it also shows life’s beauty in strong relief.

If you live near Atlanta you should try to come see the exhibit before it’s gone. Or hope it comes to your fine city.

Speak Your Mind