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A Massive Multi-Sensory Frida Kahlo Exhibition Is Coming to Australia in 2023

Enjoying its Australian premiere at Sydney Festival 2023, this immersive experience will showcase Kahlo's art via 360-degree projections and virtual reality.
By Sarah Ward
October 19, 2022
By Sarah Ward
October 19, 2022

If Vincent van Gogh can do it, and Claude Monet and his contemporaries like Renoir, Cézanne and Manet as well, then Frida Kahlo can also. We're talking about being the subject of huge, multi-sensory art exhibitions — the kind that takes an artist's work and projects it all around you so you feel like you're walking into their paintings.

First came Van Gogh Alive, which has been touring the country for the last few years. On its way next is Monet & Friends Alive, launching at Melbourne's digital-only gallery The Lume at the end of October. And, after that, Frida Kahlo: Life of an Icon is heading to Sydney as part of the hefty and just-announced Sydney Festival program for 2023.

Frida Kahlo: Life of an Icon will make its Australian premiere in the Harbour City — and display only in the Harbour — from Wednesday, January 4, 2023. For two months, it will celebrate the Mexican painter's life and work, taking over the Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve with holography and 360-degree projections. The aim: turning a biographical exhibition about Kahlo into an immersive showcase, and getting attendees to truly understand her art, persistence, rebellion and skills — and why she's an icon.

Visitors will wander through seven spaces, and get transported into the artist's work — including via virtual reality. That VR setup will indeed let you step inside Kahlo's pieces as much as VR can, although the entire exhibition is designed to cultivate that sensation anyway, with digital versions of Kahlo's paintings expanding across every surface.

The showcase hails from Spanish digital arts company Layers of Reality, alongside the Frida Kahlo Corporation, and will feature  historical photographs and original films as well — and live performances of traditional Mexican music.

As part of the interactive component, attendees will also be able to make their own flower crowns, and turn their own drawings into Kahlo-style artworks. And, you'll be able to immortalise the experience in souvenir photos, too.

For Sydneysiders, Frida Kahlo: Life of an Icon is one of the most exciting announcements in Sydney Festival's massive 2023 lineup. For folks residing elsewhere, it's a mighty good reason to make a date with Sydney this summer.

The exhibition comes to Australia after touring Europe and the US, and also displaying in Canada, Puerto Rico, Israel and Brazil.

Frida Kahlo: Life of an Icon will run from Wednesday, January 4–Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve, 1 Merriman Street, Barangaroo. For more information, or to book tickets, head to the Sydney Festival website.

Published on October 19, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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