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Frida finds fame in Hollywood

‘Preview’ now showing at the City Gallery
Until Sunday 30 April 2000

City Gallery Wellington is the ideal place to explore the passionate story of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera before it hits the Hollywood silver screen.

Mexican ‘screen goddess’ Salma Hayek and British actor Alfred Molina have been cast as Frida and Diego, with filming expected to start in a few months time. Spanish director Pedro Almodovar is reportedly interested in the project.

Salma Hayek shot to fame in 1995 with Desperado, playing opposite Antonio Banderas. Alfred Molina is well-established as a stage and screen actor, recently appearing in Boogie Nights and the long-running play Art in the US. Art is currently playing at Circa Theatre.

VIVA LA VIDA, moving into its final week, reveals many aspects of the famous couple’s tumultuous life together through over 100 spectacular artworks. Alongside paintings by Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera, there are 80 photographs charting their 25 years together, showing them at home, in their garden, at work, and on trips and political protests. Videos on the artists are also running throughout the day.

‘I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down … The other accident is Diego.’ Frida Kahlo.
Frida Kahlo met Diego Rivera, already the most celebrated Mexican artist of his generation, in her early twenties. Though her parents disapproved of the union of the ‘elephant and the dove’, Kahlo was undaunted by the 21 year age difference, and married her idol and mentor in 1929. There began a partnership that spanned 25 years until Kahlo’s death, and encompassed tremendous love and creativity as well as miscarriages, jealousy, infidelity, crippling health problems and separation.

Towards the end of her life, when the pain of numerous operations was becoming too much for her, Kahlo wrote: “I keep wanting to commit suicide. Diego is the one that holds me back, for I am so vain that I believe he needs me. He has told me so and I believe it.”

City Gallery Wellington is the only Australasian venue for VIVA LA VIDA, which will be travelling to venues in the United States after Wellington. The photography exhibition Diego y Frida: Amores y Desamores, Diego and Frida: Passion and Pain is on loan from the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo, in Mexico City.

Weekday prices ($11, $9) will be charged on Good Friday (21 April ), Easter Monday and Tuesday 25 April (ANZAC Day), and the Gallery will be open from 10-6pm on these days.

Diego y Frida: Amores y Desamores, Diego and Frida: Passion and Pain has been brought to New Zealand through the generous support of:
Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, Mexico
The Embassy of Mexico
Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (CONACULTA)
Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA)
Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo.
VIVA LA VIDA has been brought to New Zealand through the generous sponsorship of Telecom New Zealand; Ernst & Young, and Russell McVeagh.
City Gallery Wellington acknowledges the generous support of:
The Vergel Foundation, New York
Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA)
Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Conaculta).
Embassy of Mexico
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
New Zealand Embassy in Mexico
Totally Wellington
The Dominion
The Evening Post
The Chartwell Trust

VIVA LA VIDA is a New Zealand Festival 2000 event.


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