Elsa Holland

Historical Romance Writer: LUSH SENSUAL READS

I went to an exhibition at Toronto’s AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) in the fall of 2012 to see an exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s and Diego Rivera’s work. It was called Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics & Painting. 

It was visceral. I can’t think of another word to describe it. It reached out and floored me.

There were 80 works of art and 60 photos of them and their life. Here’s a link to the blurb. http://www.ago.net/frida-diego-passion-politics-painting

I found myself spending the majority of my time in front of Diego’s paintings. It was a break from the shell shock,  from the impact of standing in front of one of Frida’s.

A part of you reaches out to engage with art. For me it’s not intellectual, it’s not even emotive. It is a connection at a energetic level, a communication where words and rationalizations have no place, well, for me anyway.

I staggered out of the exhibition. I wandered around the gallery in a daze, my whole balance had literally gone wobbly where I would veer off on the diagonal as I walked down corridors. I could hardly focus on the other rooms I walked through. People around me seemed like they were behind a veil, like a visual echo.

Eventually I found a collection of Henry Moore  sculptures that grabbed hold of me. They seemed to take pity and embraced me, settled me back on solid ground. I let myself follow their curves, feel the weight of them. My footing became more stable and the lightness in my head lifted.  After some time I walked out to a mezzanine with a hip little coffee shop. It had spectacular architectural wood work  reaching up into an angular ceiling and molded in front of tall glass windows. I ordered and sat down in that wood and glass tree, another one of the seemingly cosmopolitan people enjoying the gallery. But in reality I was a storm drenched raven perched on a branch sipping my espresso.

Now I look at photos of Frida Kahlo and I remember the impact those paintings had on me. It’s something different to see the actual work rather than a print. An original has been imbued by some force of the artist which makes it come to life. Not all work has that but someone like Frida who painted her inner landscape, who felt so much, it screams out of the painting like a hurricane. If you have the chance to see her original work I really recommend it but be prepared.

Oh and absolutely, if you want to feel rocked in the bosom of  mother earth go see the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre at the AGO in Toronto. Wow, wow, wow.


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4 thoughts on “Recovering from Frida with Henry Moore

  1. Rena Toth says:

    Hey love did not know if I could replay !

    have been leaving some comments, but loved this write up very much ! wow wow you feel art and made me feel it too. very well written and described. I would love to see some of Frida and Diego’s paintings, is this a permanent exhibition?

    How are you my love, I have been in bed for days and days with a yucky cold / flu now after an incredible few weeks at the festival having fun, seeing lots of shows etc.

    I am tentatively planning on coming to the coast, but cannot decide cost or Bali in mid sept.

    hope to see you when I come down 🙂 hugs, Rena


    1. Elsa Holland says:

      Thx Rena ❤ love your support thank you so much. The exhibition is no longer in Toronto but I imagine it travels or others of her work are available from time to time.

      I hope you are feeling better. Bali is warmer than down her but I would love to see you if you come !!!! Be well and lots of love.


  2. Daisy Banks says:

    Very interesting write up. I’d love the chance to visit this exhibition. I wonder if it will ever come to the UK. Thanks for sharing this.


    1. Elsa Holland says:

      Thx Daisy. I was very surprised at the impact. It was a couple of years ago and I still remember it when I see images of Frida. Her work does come up from time to time and I recommend you go if you can 🙂


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