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[VIDEO] Voices From Frida Kahlo And Diego Rivera Opening Reception

Julie Denesha

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Artcelebrated the opening of "Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection" on May 31, 2013, with an opening reception for museum members.

The exhibition showcases more than 100 paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings collected by the Gelmans in their adopted homeland of Mexico.


Interview Highlights

On a raw depiction of life

"I find Frida (Kahlo), just how she depicts herself, her perception of herself through her paintings," Eric Negrete said. "She represents a realness, an honesty, a bluntness. Even though the pictures are beautiful, the painting are beautiful. I think just her depiction of life is just real. It's raw."

On being in touch with an average person

"I think the interesting thing about both of them is they were very keen on the life of the average person," said Patrick Robichaud, Chair Emeritus Friends of Art Council. "And I think it really shows that they were very in tune to their heritage, very in tun to their every day of the average Mexican, and I think that is really the beautiful part of what comes out in the exhibit."

On Kahlo as an artist who "doesn't hide her flaws"

"I feel that Frida Kahlo is so special and unique because she is a realistic painter that doesn't hide her flaws and doesn't hide who she is, and is really proud of her culture," said Cynthia Gajewski. "And all of the experiences that she's had, you know, all of the pain and the suffering, and her marriage with Diego Rivera, it's just all a part of her art."

On Kahlo's fearlessness

"What Frida Kahlo does for me is she has a fearlessness to her. Not only in her art, but in her style," said Sloane Simmons. "I think that there is a fearlessness of color, of ability, of control. It's fabulous."

On bringing Mexico to Kansas City

"Walking through the show, I just kept feeling proud that Kansas City brought these gifts from Mexico into this community," said Eric Negrete. "I think it's great for the community, but I also think it's pretty profound for the Latin community in Kansas City to have a piece of our mother country in the city we love."

"Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection" through August 18, 2013 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 45th & Oak, Kansas City, Mo. 816-751-1ART.

Julie Denesha is the arts reporter for KCUR. Contact her at julie@kcur.org.
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