It is fuchsia on the outside and hides the subtlety of a whitish-gray pulp flecked with little black spots that are its seeds inside. This is a wonder! Fruits are like flowers: they speak to us in provocative language and teach us things that are hidden. - Frida Kahlo
A centerpiece of the museum’s permanent collection, Pitahayas by Frida Kahlo will be on view in the Imprint Gallery beginning October 12. Alongside the painting, a digital experience will be available that shares information about the significance of the artwork’s imagery and the story of how this artwork came to the museum.
MMoCA is a partner in Faces of Frida, a digital art project organized by Google Arts & Culture that is dedicated to commemorating the life and legacy of Kahlo—one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Faces of Frida provides online access to a virtual collection of more than 800 items, including artwork images, photographs, and letters. MMoCA is one of the more than 30 cultural institutions, from seven countries, contributing to this project. Museum curator Mel Becker Solomon extensively researched the provenance of Pitahayas and contributed two essays to the project.
Frida Kahlo: Pitahayas provides an opportunity to explore a profound work by a significant artist. Much like the pitahaya fruit, with its delicate, fleshy center concealed inside its bright pink exterior, Kahlo embedded a deeply personal history in this vibrant still life. The personal iconography and extensive exhibition history of the painting—one that even changed the skeleton’s smile to a frown—suggests the work is not only a still life, but an intimate self-portrait of the artist.
Generous funding for Imprint Gallery programs has been provided by Willy Haeberli in memory of Gabriele Haberland.