Following the overwhelming success of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, the creators have now reimagined the works of legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in 360 degrees.
“We will chase Frida’s world, always in motion,” “Frida: Immersive Dream” animator Massimiliano Siccardi said in a statement. “We will discover her tenderness and hostilities by taking in her observations and fantasies. Our hope is that viewers will let themselves be penetrated by Frida’s stories, and in so doing, live vicariously through her.”
Taking up some 500,000 cubic feet of projections and employing 1.2 million frames of video, the Frida art experience showcases some of the painter’s most famous works, cloning them around all four walls of exhibition space. Also added in are real-life photos of the Mexican surrealist and her influences, like her husband Diego Rivera. Some of the most recognizable pieces highlighted in the visual feast include The Two Fridas (1939), The Wounded Deer (1946), and Self-Portrait on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States (1932).
As images and colors splash across the walls (all chosen and animated by Siccardi), sitting or standing observers can turn in any direction for a good view of Kahlo’s bold works brought to life against an audio backdrop of musical scores composed by Luca Longobardi.
“Frida Kahlo’s work is uniquely suited to be explored in an immersive environment, and her life story is equally fascinating,” said Svetlana Dvoretsky, co-producer at Lighthouse Immersive, the studio behind the Van Gogh and Kahlo experiences. “Kahlo lived her life as one giant journey of exploration, and her art mirrored that journey. Our goal is to give our viewers more than an examination of her work; we also hope they will leave with a richer understanding of the smart, complex woman who created these timeless masterpieces.”
Born in Mexico in 1907, Kahlo began painting after a terrible bus accident at the age of 18 left her bedridden for many months and with life-long chronic pain. She is best known for her self-portraits (of her 143 paintings, 55 are of herself) strikingly characterized by her signature unibrow. Her other works are dominated by elements from nature and Mexican artifacts. Her style has been termed “magical realism,” with many paintings mixing realistic parts of her outer life with illusory components suggestive of her inner feelings and turmoil. She died at the young age of 47, but her artwork has only become more resonant and popular since her passing. In fact, Kahlo’s Diego and I (1949) sold in November 2021 for $34.9 million, the highest amount ever paid for a Latin American artwork at auction.
The new “Frida: Immersive Dream” exhibit is a response to the success of the original Van Gogh immersive exhibit that “demonstrated that audiences are excited to experience art in a new way,” said Lighthouse Immersive co-producer Corey Ross. “Our Italian creative team are experts at digitally exploring masterworks in such a way that viewers are not merely passive observers. They obtain an even richer understanding of the artist by seeing the work as its creator might have.”
The immersive Frida Kahlo experience is available in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto with dates starting in February and running through June 2022. Tickets are available for $40 on the exhibition website.