“I paint flowers so they will not die.
I hope the leaving is joyful; and I hope never to return.
Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?
I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.
I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.
Painting completed my life.
I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.” – Frida Kahlo
Walking through the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden, the visitors will appreciate a variety of exotic plants and the blue courtyard walls — a marvelous spectacle re-creating Kahlo’s studio and garden at Casa Azul (“Blue House”) in Coyoacán, Mexico City. The artist’s childhood home outside of Mexico City where she resided in her later years, which overlooked the garden – artist’s organic world.
Kahlo in her art portrayed how nature is part of a fascinating cycle of human life depicting both: it’s beauty and decay. The gardening played an important part in artist’s creative development. As Kahlo said: “I paint flowers so they will not die,” this quote expresses her private isolated world, where flowers and plants become immortal, even though when autumn arrives, they would be gone.
The “Art, Garden, Life” in addition contemplates on artist’s two fatal incidents of her life: a bus accident in 1925 that left her permanently disabled and in chronic pain, and her turbulent relationship with Diego Rivera.
Curated by an art historian and specialist in Mexican art Adriana Zavala, Ph.D., the multifaceted exhibition includes a rare display of more than a dozen original Kahlo paintings and drawings on view in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Rondina and LoFaro Gallery at the Garden.
By Jolanta Gora/Amy Banker, NY Arts