Mara De Anda and Mara Kahlo at Immersive Frida Kahlo (Photo courtesy Kristina Vicario. All other photos courtesy Kyle Flubacker)

Artist and queer icon Frida Kahlo surrounds Dallas in art

RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer

Immersive art installations are clearly the new thing. The Metroplex just finished its experience being inside the works of Vincent Van Gogh in two recent immersive experiences. Now Dallas gets the Frida Kahlo treatment.

Lighthouse Immersive and Impact Museums’ Immersive Frida Kahlo: Her Life, Her Love, Her Art opened in Dallas on Feb. 3 and runs through April 17. The show features the 20th century Mexican artist’s works re-envisioned through digital art by Massimiliano Siccardi and a score by Luca Longobardi. Some of her famous images will be larger than life and in motion in the Lighthouse ArtSpace in downtown Dallas.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the producing team bringing the amazing work of Frida Kahlo to Dallas,” said Vito Iaia, co-producer and co-founder of ImpactMuseums via press release. “Following on the incredible response to Immersive Van Gogh, we are confident that Immersive Frida Kahlo will take fans on another groundbreaking journey through the mind of one of the world’s most celebrated artists.”

On Friday, Kahlo’s family will come to Dallas to experience the exhibition here. In a partnership with Fundacion Familia Kahlo, a nonprofit run by the artist’s living descendants, Immersive Frida Kahlo will raise money toward the work of the foundation’s mission.

The Kahlo foundation functions to preserve the legacy of Frida Kahlo, including her artwork and artifacts from her life. Its other focus is to support and promote women’s rights and other causes important to the artist in her lifetime as well as issues of today, such as female empowerment, global consciousness, creating an equal and just society and freedom of artistic expression.

“I’ve always felt very proud of being Frida’s great niece,” said Mara R. Kahlo, daughter of Frida’s only niece and president of Fundación Familia Kahlo. “But it is also a great responsibility. I have dedicated my life to protecting her image and my family’s legacy. And we are confident that the Immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit is in line with this legacy and are proud to partner with them to further the appreciation of Frida Kahlo’s work and legacy, and also raise funds that will support causes important to her and us.”

Producer Svetlana Dvoretsky is glad the family approves of the show: “The work that Frida Kahlo’s living relatives do to carry on the legacy of their ancestor is inspirational, and we are proud to be a part of it.

“Frida Kahlo is iconic in so many ways and is a role model for so many,” Dvoretsky continued. “We are ecstatic that her family sees the Immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit as a compliment to her legacy, as it has always been our primary goal to celebrate this remarkable woman and grow the appreciation of her powerful, highly personal work and life.”

Kahlo has become a queer icon with her open display of sexuality in a time when women were rather inhibited. She was married to artist Diego Rivera but also had relationships with Josephine Baker, fellow artist Georgia O’Keeffe and actor Dolores del Rio, and she had a close friendship with photographer Tina Modotti. Perhaps one of her most famous lovers was singer Chavela Vargas.

But her iconic queer status doesn’t rest on the people she knew intimately. Her queerness shines through in her art, whether through her notions of feminism displayed her self-portraits or her rejection of gender norms, such as in “Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair.”

For more information or tickets, visit