Immersive Frida Kahlo illuminates life and work of celebrated Mexican painter | Visual Art | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Immersive Frida Kahlo illuminates life and work of celebrated Mexican painter

click to enlarge Immersive Frida Kahlo illuminates life and work of celebrated Mexican painter (2)
Photo: Kyle Flubacker/Courtesy of Lighthouse Immersive
Immersive Frida Kahlo
After the success of the Immersive Van Gogh traveling show, Lighthouse Immersive and Impact Museums have moved on to another artist, celebrated Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

Presented with the tagline "Her Life. Her Love. Her Art.," Immersive Frida Kahlo is open now in the same venue that held the Van Gogh experience in Pittsburgh, the Lighthouse Art Space. The exhibit runs for about 40 minutes and features many famous works done by Kahlo, including "La Venadita" and "Niña con mascara de la muerte."

A press release says, “Folk art, mysticism, surrealism, magic realism and a notably revealing series of self-portraits" are all included in the projections. Boosting the immersive art installation was that it was officially endorsed by the Frida Kahlo Foundation, according to Lighthouse Immersive.

A press release says that an Italian creative team led by creator Massimiliano Siccardi brought some of Kahlo’s most well-known art to life, with Vittorio Guidotti as the art director for the installation.

Lighthouse Immersive producer Corey Ross says that the success of Immersive Van Gogh demonstrated that audiences are "excited to experience art in a new way."

"Our Italian creative team are experts at digitally exploring masterworks in such a way that viewers are not merely passive observers," says Ross. "They obtain an even richer understanding of the artist by seeing the work as its creator might have."

He says that Siccardi also presents Kahlo’s works in a format "very distinct from that which he utilized in examining Van Gogh’s."

"He does not try to unify the many styles Kahlo used in her lifetime, but instead, presents them to us as a series of kinetic tableaus that may initially contradict — but eventually illuminate — each other," adds Ross.

Active during the 1930s and 1940s, Kahlo's paintings feature images best defined as magic surrealism, and were influenced by various struggles in her life, including chronic health issues and marital strife with her husband, famed muralist Diego Rivera. Before her untimely death in 1954, she managed to produce a body of work that still resonates and inspires today.

Immersive Frida Kahlo operates as a story, going through many of Kahlo’s paintings as music by composer Luca Longobardi plays in the background. The show is dark and serious, as the paintings chip and peel away to new paintings as the story goes on.

The exhibit is made up of 500,000 cubic feet of art, 90,000,000 pixels, and 1,200,000 frames of video. Guests can walk around the warehouse room and view the pieces of art as they fade into more paintings. The venue features circles for groups to sit in to keep social distancing, keeping the experience safe.

The mesmerizing music and video graphics surround guests, making it feel as though you are within the art as it plays out in front of you. The general atmosphere and stunning visuals make for a unique, Instagrammable experience that differs from your typical museum visit.

Immersive Frida Kahlo. Through May 28. Lighthouse Art Space. 720 E. Lacock St., North Side. $39.99-110.

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