Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera - Art Gallery of NSW - Review

Quoting Frida Kahlo - 'I have suffered two grave accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar knocked me down ... The other accident is Diego'. The Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection exhibition recently opened at the Art Gallery of NSW and captures how Frida's work was influenced by traumatic physical and emotional pain that she endured in her life.

 Frida Kahlo - Diego on my mind (Self-portrait as Tehuana) 1943 - photo @busycitkids

Frida Kahlo - Diego on my mind (Self-portrait as Tehuana) 1943 - photo @busycitkids

Frida suffered lifelong health problems many of which were caused by a tragic traffic accident she survived and spent months in hospital recovering from. She also suffered emotionally from her relation with Diego Rivera. This exhibition showcases her realistic painting style which was dominated by self portraits and the works of Diego Rivera with whom she was married with for almost ten years.

 Frida Kahlo - Frida Kahlo with red 'rebozo' 1939 by Nickolas Muray (on left of this image) - photo @busycitykids

Frida Kahlo - Frida Kahlo with red 'rebozo' 1939 by Nickolas Muray (on left of this image) - photo @busycitykids

The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection comprises of more than 30 artworks and 49 photographs. 

 Diego Rivera - Landscape with Cacti 1931 - photo @busycitykids

Diego Rivera - Landscape with Cacti 1931 - photo @busycitykids

Many of Diego and Frida's work explored family, their relationship and their own personal and political struggles. Frida's training was more self taught and influenced by her father and later by Diego whereas Diego was academically trained.

 Frida Kahlo - Self-portrait with braid xxx 1941 - photo @busycitykids

Frida Kahlo - Self-portrait with braid xxx 1941 - photo @busycitykids

 Frida Kahlo - Self-portrait with monkeys 1943 - photo @busycitykids

Frida Kahlo - Self-portrait with monkeys 1943 - photo @busycitykids

  Frida Kahlo - Self-portrait with necklace 1933 - photo @busycitykids

Frida Kahlo - Self-portrait with necklace 1933 - photo @busycitykids

 Frida Kahlo - The bride who becomes frightened when she sees life opened 1943 - photo @busycitykids

Frida Kahlo - The bride who becomes frightened when she sees life opened 1943 - photo @busycitykids

I really loved Frida's self portraits in this collection especially self portrait with monkeys and Diego on my mind. My favourite photographs are from her father's collection shown below c 1920. As well as photographs from American and Mexican photographers Leo Matiz, Martin Munkácsi and Nickolas Muray.

 Frida Kahlo - Taken by her Father Guillermo Kahlo - photo @busycitykids

Frida Kahlo - Taken by her Father Guillermo Kahlo - photo @busycitykids

 Frida Kahlo - various photographs from the exhibition's photographers - photo @busycitykids

Frida Kahlo - various photographs from the exhibition's photographers - photo @busycitykids

While the exhibition might not have interactive features for children and the exhibition space is intimate, art as I see it is a part of life and children should be exposed to it from a young age so that they can appreciate art and get used to galleries.

 Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera exhibition at Art Gallery of NSW - photo @busycitykids

Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera exhibition at Art Gallery of NSW - photo @busycitykids

Tips to enjoy the exhibition with kids:

  • Chat to your little ones about Frida and her life and what to expect of the exhibition
  • Show them a few pictures so that they can relate to them
  • Sessions are timed so book tickets online during the week after 3pm if possiblble to avoid the crowd
  • Use the lifts on right hand side of info desk to go up to Upper Level where the exhibition is held
  • Go around the exhibition twice within your session if you feel that you have missed something
  • Parents rooms are located on level 1 and lower level 1. Level 1 is next to the café
  • Bring some snacks for the little ones to have at the café or enjoy a snack box at the café or grab a picnic and have it on the domain lawns
  • Take public transport if you can as parking in the city is a bit on the expensive side however you can get $6 off at domain car park if validated at the gallery showing your ticket (see domain car park website for more details)
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection will be on display at the Art Gallery of NSW from Saturday 25th June to Sunday 9th October 2016. Tickets are on sale now via the Art Gallery of NSW website.