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The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is known for her self-portraits that offer a window into her life. Colorful and bold folk art, her surreal portraits display the passion and emotion of a life that endured endless pain and died too young. Kahlo, who died in at age 47, endured polio as and nearly died in a bus accident that caused a railing to impale her body. She was both a mystery and a free spirit. Kahlo had a tumultuous marriage to the muralist Diego Rivera, whom she married twice, while they both had affairs with a litany of others. She spoke about the role last week between rehearsals.

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On each is a familiar portrait of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. She stares directly at the camera from underneath her famous unibrow. Any exhibit about Frida Kahlo is likely to draw audiences, but this latest one is also drawing controversy. And from the banners, advertisements, even the catalog that accompanies the exhibit, the audience is none the wiser. They were commissioned from four Chinese artists who are not credited.

Hugh Davies, David C. The Kahlo exhibit is the masterpiece and passion of Dr. A former top executive at Dow Chemical, Remund is tiny and wears her jet black hair in a blunt bob with bangs. The Los Angeles-based entertainment company has produced touring exhibitions about Star Trek and the movie, Titanic.

San Diego is the first U. A fine art show made up entirely of replicas is unusual. But the bigger issue is one of transparency.

On a recent Friday, Carol Morrison and Marlene Gotz walked through the exhibit using the companion catalog as a guide. When asked whom they thought painted the artwork on the walls, Morrison looked surprised. A woman nearby overheard the explanation that the paintings were replicas and walked over.

Traditionally in a museum or gallery exhibition, there would be an introductory text on the first wall explaining the show. This would be an ideal place to make it clear that the paintings are replicas and give attribution to the Chinese artists.

There is an 8. In two sentences it explains that the paintings are replicas.

People walked by without reading it. The original disappeared on its way to an exhibition in Moscow in In a subsequent interview, Remund conceded there was no statement explaining the paintings were replicas in the catalog or in other materials. Pressure or not, all paintings in the catalog are identified with the specifics of the original Frida Kahlo paintings, not those of the copies.

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For example, the painting in the exhibit No. Oil on canvas, 65 x 54 cm, Private Collection, Boston, Massachusetts. Moctezuma thinks the word replica should be placed next to the title of each painting, along with credit to the Chinese artist who painted it. Online information about the show might be the most transparent. In the event listing on San Diego.

Remund explained there is another safeguard in place to ensure visitors understand the paintings are replicas. In the gift shop, which is also the exit, an employee always asks visitors how they liked the show, according to Remund. He specializes in selling Chicano and Latino art.

"woven light" by david livewell

There is a tradition in China of painters learning their craft by copying master works. It would be a logical place to source quality copies of artwork. A couple of paintings took two years, and one took three. She visited the artists at their studios almost daily to monitor their progress.

She and Gerhrke gave the artists research-filled binders and explained the technical and emotional aspects of each painting. She commented on the quality of the reproductions. She said some of the still life paintings are good, but some of the self-portraits are not. Her spine is visible through a rift down her center.

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Kahlo painted it to show her physical and emotional suffering. The original, Velasquez said, achieves that brilliantly, especially in the depiction of the eyes. But the replica does not. When we spoke, he had not yet seen the show.

Photos: frida kahlo & diego rivera's colorful love story

They loved it. He said they were approached but declined, in part, because much of his audience could not afford the ticket price.

They are planning to go east, possibly to Texas. Search Query Show Search. Support KPBS. Watch Live.

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Frida kahlo: intimate photos show the private life of the mexican artist

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Rare, candid photos of frida kahlo during the last years of her life

Angela Carone. Angela has produced public radio programs focused on the arts for the Atlanta and San Diego markets. In this role, she has covered topics ranging from books, film, theater, music, visual arts and pop culture. She also has more than 15 years experience in print media, having been published in various newspapers, alternative weeklies, and exhibition catalogs. She is also a published photographer. See stories by Angela Carone.

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