The crowds were thick, but this was quite a wonderful exhibit of Kahlo's work and life. If you have never seen her work before, don't miss it. If you are a fan, get there right away. If you are open about art and experiencing art, take your kids.
I tried to determine if it was appropriate for kids by reading reviews. As some of Kahlo's work is quite graphic, I wanted to know which paintings were on display. That tactic didn't work. Most of the paintings that I thought might 'creep them out' were there. My kids did say a few paintings were gross, but my 6, 9 and 11 year old were super silent with their audio tours and took time to thoughtfully study the paintings.
I centered our trip around Frida's extraordinary life. There are people that curl up into a ball when life throws them a challenge or two, and then there are the others. Frida took lemons and made lemonade-sometimes bloody lemonade, but damn, look at her bio!
I talked to the kids about her ability to express what was happening in her life through her work. How she used art to help her communicate, contemplate and understand her life.
We discussed the power of Frida's eyes in her self-portraits. How her talent has the ability to invoke her spirit right there on the spot. Frida is in the room, she is looking over your shoulder and she is looking at you from her paintings.
Just for parents thinking about taking their kids (and there were tons of kids there!), here are some of the paintings we saw that might be considered graphic for youngsters. Considering all three of my kids have seen Ghostbusters and Iron Man (sorry, St. Peter), All in all, I think it worked out to be a good learning experience.
Afterward, 9 year old Ruth did say that she would never paint a picture with blood spurting out of her nipples to express her pain. I asked what she thought the blood might have symbolized--she answered a broken heart...but she still wasn't painting herself nude. Her dad will be relieved.