An immersive exhibit about famed artist Frida Kahlo is now open in Brooklyn, and this one is different than the other immersive art experiences you may have seen around town.
Instead of projecting artworks in large scale (like Immersive Klimt, also on view right now), the show is presented without reproductions of Kahlo’s art. Instead, “Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon“ offers an immersive biography of the artist through historical photographs, original films, artistic installations, collector’s items, virtual reality and music. Here's what you'll see in the exhibit:
1. A beautiful altar
A colorful altar featuring photos of Kahlo, candles and orange flowers welcomes visitors into the space. A text panel near the altar explains the Mexican tradition where living people can meet their dead family members again.
2. Details on the artist's history
The exhibit offers a deep dive into the artist's history, so you can explore the details of her life and will likely learn something new even if you already know a lot about Kahlo. Multiple text panels describe the artist's childhood, passions, health and role as an icon. Be prepared that the panels are quite text-heavy (with a few frustrating typos) and can be a bit overwhelming. It can be tough to read everything when fellow visitors are gathered around the panels, so snapping a photo on your phone to read later might be easier. The classic "immersive" room (projections on blank warehouse-style walls) also digs into her life's story.
3. A trippy, artful infinity mirror
Projections of skulls, leaves, flowers and monkeys spin in a dizzying array alongside a mirrored wall to create a 360 installation ideal for photos and videos.
4. Beautiful clothing
Over her lifetime, Kahlo became a fashion icon, even gracing the cover of Vogue in 1939. To this day, her image appears in publications around the world and fashion designers such as Givenchy have made collections paying tribute to her.
She was known for her velvet skirts, embroidered blouses and hair decorated with flowers or ribbons. A display of dresses offers a peek at the bold styles that became Kahlo's signature look.
5. Fun photo opportunities
One of Kahlo’s main subjects was herself, and an interactive photobooth allows you to become the subject of a Kahlo-inspired artwork. Take a seat in the photobooth, then the camera will create a portrait of you as a floral collage. For a more analog experience, colorful backgrounds with quotes like “I’m quite different” offer photo backdrops.
"Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon" is on view now at the Immersive Pavilion in Vinegar Hill near DUMBO (Note: That's at 259 Water St; Brooklyn, NY 11201, and you'll need to make sure to enter "DUMBO" with the address into your gps so it doesn't take you to Water Street in Manhattan). Budget 90 minutes for the experience. Tickets start at $39 and available through January 8, 2023.