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The Many Faces of Frida 

When: July 13-Aug. 28 2009

Artists, like saints, can become whatever audiences want them to be, posthumously. Frida Kahlo's paintings are extraordinary enough on their own, but it was the mythic quality of the painter's agonized/ecstatic life as surrealist, Latina, bisexual, communist, unconventional beauty, and tough cookie (despite horrendous medical afflictions) that has attracted not one but many cult followings over the past thirty years. In this show, curated by Rachel-Anne Palacios, 31 artists created works dealing with the various intersecting, overlapping Fridas: the historical person (Crespo, Sanchez); the heroine of creative self-realization (Arias, Carr, Engebretson, Moreno, Ortiz, Sanchez/Rodriguez/Palacios, Villez); and the immortal goddess or symbol of mexicanidad (Ante, Newman, Oseguera). A few pieces even satirize the consumerist side of revolutionary fridamania (Posada, Tafolla, Yanez). Closing reception and talk happens on Thursday, Aug. 20, 5-8 p.m. The Many Faces of Fridaruns through August 28 at Craft and Cultural Arts Gallery (1515 Clay St., Oakland). OaklandCulturalArts.org or 510-622-8190


— DeWitt Cheng

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