Traveling Frida Kahlo Photography Exhibit Opens at MOLAA

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Photos by Brian Addison.

For its only showing on the entire West Coast, Long Beach’s Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) has officially opened its much-anticipated Frida Kahlo, Her Photos exhibit.

The exhibit originally premiered in 2007 in Mexico at the Frida Kahlo Museum under the direction of Mexican photographer Pablo Ortiz Monasterio and first came to the States through the Artisphere of Arlington, Virginia. The exhibit—a collaboration between the Embassy of Mexico, the Mexican Cultural Institute and the Frida Kahlo Museum—was a massive hit, attracting over 13,000 visitors in the span of about a month.

Frida01Long Beach will be the exhibit’s exclusive home for the next three months, where visitors are allowed to peer into Kahlo’s life through a set of over 200 photographs. Spanning practically the entirety of the famous artist’s life—from her parents to her tumultuous relationship with famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera—this rare exhibit shows the artist through the camera lens with pictures of her, for her and by her.

“This holding clearly reflects the interests that Frida had throughout her tumultuous life,” said Monasterio, “Her family, her fascination with Diego and her other loved ones, the broken body and medical science, her friends and some enemies, the political struggle and art, indigenous communities and the pre‐Columbian past—all shrouded in the great passion she had for Mexico and all things Mexican.”

Broken into six sections with opened walls that permit the viewer to sneak glimpses both ahead and behind the exhibit, photographs depict Kahlo’s parental unit; the famous La Casa Azul in Mexico where she was born (and now home to the Frida Kahlo Museum); her body post-accident in 1925, where she suffered multiple fractures and broken bones including a broken spinal column, collarbone, pelvis, and broken ribs; her own view of the world through the camera; the loves of her life, friends and Diego alike; and Diego’s own photography of her.

The exhibit is set to run through June 8 at MOLAA, located at 628 Alamitos Avenue. The museum is open Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 11AM to 5PM, and Fridays from 11AM to 9PM. General admission is $9; Students are $6; and seniors, members, and children under 12 are free. Every Sunday, admission to the museum is entirely free. For more information, visit www.molaa.org.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food to politics to urban transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 12 nominations and an additional win for Best Political Commentary. Born in Big Bear, he has lived in Long Beach since college. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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