“All Things Living & Green”: Van Gogh & Frida Kahlo

Coco Chanel quotes“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” –Coco Chanel

“What is Happening” in New York City this summer season are two “fashionable” exhibits that are worth checking out: Van Gogh Irises and Roses at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

Van Gogh Irises and Roses

Van Gogh irises and roses art exhibitThe Van Gogh exhibit at the Met brings together for the first time a quartet of paintings that Van Gogh (1853-1890) did during his stay at the asylum at St. Remy in 1889 before his death in 1890. The exhibition of the four paintings, two of irises and two of roses, was timed to coincide with the blooming of the flowers in the Spring, a period of time he likened to the “calm after the storm.” Calling painting the “lightening conductor for my illness,” Van Gogh’s art became “the first example of a truly personal art, art as a deeply lived means of spiritual deliverance or transformation of the self…”

The exhibit is open now through August 16, 2015. Learn more by visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.

Please note: the above information comes from the book Van Gogh by Meyer Schapiro and the Metropolitan’s website.

Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life

If you interested in gardens, are looking for inspiration and love all things Mexican (including a good margarita) you might consider journeying to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx for what is being called a “blockbuster exhibit” that pays tribute to an enduring cultural icon who has influenced the likes of Madonna, Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

Frida Kahlo was a surrealist Mexican painter known for her many self-portraits where she is adorned with flowers and greenery from her garden. The portraits often capture her “pain and passion” with the “intense, vibrant colors she is known for. She was born in a small town on the outskirts of Mexico City in 1907 in “La Casa Azul” – “The Blue House” of her immigrant German Lutheran father and Spanish mother. She lived there until she died at the age of 47 in 1954.

Frida Kahlo Exhibit New YorkWhile you may not know Frida by name, you would probably recognize her self-portraits, featuring her iconic unibrow, braided hair and traditional Mexican dresses, which has become one of the most recognizable faces in art. “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone. Because I am the person I know best,” she once said.

It is written that Kahlo led a “tortuous life”, from lifelong health problems to her stormy marriage with famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. She was an avid gardener and created a magical place for herself at La Casa Azul that has been “re-imagined” by the exhibit with an “explosion of color” – from purple bougainvillea, pink oleander, white calla lilies, gardenias dahlias, Mexican marigolds, zinnias, philodendron leaves and fushia, along with cactuses and succulents lining the pathways.

As Allison McNearney writes in The Daily Beast, the exhibit is New York City’s “shrine to all things living and green” for the summer season.

The exhibit is open now through November 1, 2015. Learn more on The New York Botanical Garden’s website.

Please note: the above information comes from articles in The New York Post, The Daily Beast and The Frida Kahlo Foundation.

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