Showcasing Mexican Culture & Many Fridas

I have lived in Orlando for 15 months but still haven’t been to many of the places I normally would have visited due to the Pandemic. Today I checked one place off of my list, the Orlando Public Library, the headquarters Orange County Library system Downtown Orlando.

The weathered concrete – maybe Brutalist – facade is uninviting, especially in contrast to the many Spanish or Italianate buildings and Art Deco facades in the surrounding blocks. Inside however, the lobby is spacious and the staff friendly.

I visited to see the exhibition “Frida Kahlo: Celebrating the Art,Culture and Traditions of Mexico” installed by Casa De Mexico.

Too many years ago, I wrote and presented a paper on Frida Kahlo and for a graduate-level Art History class. I have to admit that her current status as a pop art icon puzzles me a bit, since I know her background and the difficult life that she led. I feel that Frida might not be too pleased.

This exhibition justaposed samples of Mexican dress, tapestries, pottery, religious iconography, trinkets, etc, from the many states of Mexico with contemporary interpretations of Frida, mostly paintings. The artist herself may have appreciated this approach, one with more cultural weight than her face on a t-shirt.

I was a wonderful survey of a rich culture. I’m glad that I caught the exhibition before it closed. Click on the small photos below for a better view of the many Fridas!

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