Mexican art features some amazing depictions of strong females.
That's probably an artless first sentence, but wow was it the refrain of the visit.
Frida Kahlo's main painting gathered people. I intentionally ignored it, choosing to look first at all the other art in the room, but I was very aware that I had my back to the reason most people came to the exhibit. Kahlo was the only artist whose work I knew at all before the exhibit, and I would bet that was true of a lot of people there.
I ignored her so hard that when I finally did turn toward Kahlo's work, a DMA volunteer was right there waiting for me. He was fantastic. I learned that this particular painting had been shown in Paris once, but otherwise had never left Mexico. Who would have guessed that Dallas would have been the second place to show it? We talked about the context of the work in Kahlo's own life. Her marriage was crumbling, and she felt torn between two cultures, two obviously closely tied but separate versions of herself.
I went with an odd group of women for suburban Dallas. We were all at least two years out of college, unmarried and not in serious relationships. There were more people with grad degrees than without.
Anyways, we loved the art, and I loved learning more about Mexico.
The DMA makes all of their exhibits free on Sundays for Family Day, and when we were there it was packed with families, friends, people on dates, in a really beautiful diversity of colors. I'm very grateful that the DMA chose to put on this exhibit in the face of all the country's unrest over immigration.
This is so important, right now. In Texas especially, white people are going to have to learn how to get along with and celebrate other races, since we haven't been a white majority state for years. We're going to have to get used to white spaces shrinking, and fine art is a great place for some cultural exchange (past margaritas) to start.
It shouldn't be 'brave' for a museum to exhibit the culture, even if it is strong female heavy, of a country that is literally their next door neighbor. But it is right now, and I'm grateful.