Mexican icons Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s revolutionary art and politics, as well as their stormy relationship, come to life in an amazing presentation: “Mexican Geniuses: A Frida & Diego Immersive Experience.” The “experience” is presented by Fever Labs at Whitfield Entertainment Group Studios in NE Washington, D.C. These are the same talents that enabled visitors to enter the French artist Van Gogh’s world via virtual technology. Once again, they have employed these techniques in novel ways.
Bold, vibrant colors suffuse the exhibition spaces, along with folk art, copies of pre-Columbian artifacts and music. There are huge Day of the Dead-themed papier-mâché skeletons on one wall. Handcrafted leather chairs and sofas are found throughout the space.
Projections of paintings, photographs and animations let visitors experience Kahlo and Rivera’s art in new ways. Rivera’s “naturalism” made working people the subject of art. One massive wall is covered with a reproduction of one of his iconic, revolutionary murals. It shows men, hard at work, doing all kinds of heavy, skilled labor to build a society. A fascinating feature of the enhanced “experience” is watching the lines and colors of the mural fade and reappear.
Life-size reproductions of many of Kahlo’s artworks hang in “her” space, along with photos, memorabilia and reproductions of the heavy corsets and braces she had to wear. Another huge room stages a 360-degree, immersive experience with images of the couple’s lives and art appearing and disappearing around the walls.
The final room features a full wall-sized reproduction of Rivera’s colorful “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park.” It’s a parade of Mexican heroes, fantasy creatures and ordinary folk dressed to the nines, set against a whimsical backdrop. An opposite wall projects a black-and-white copy of the artwork. Visitors are encouraged to use the coloring materials provided to “paint” the mural. Children of all ages are enthralled.
As a final bonus, visitors can opt for a fantasy virtual experience. It’s a Disney-inspired, dream-like voyage of the couple’s spirits through the afterlife. Tickets for the immersive experience are on sale now through Fever’s website.
tags20th century muralistsDiego RiveraFeverFrida Khaloimmersive experienceMexican artNaturalismpaintingVincent Van Gogh“Mexican Geniuses: A Frida & Diego Immersive Experience”
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