Photo by Nickolas Muray
By Brenda Norrell
TUCSON -- There is an amazing exhibit of photos of Frida Kahlo now at the Tucson Museum of Art. There are photos spanning a decade taken by Nickolas Muray, and includes Frida's intimate letters to him.
In one letter from Paris, Frida writes about the intellectuals who pose as artists in cafes in Paris and don't work. "They make me vomit," she wrote from Paris on Feb. 16, 1939. Frida says they are always "talking" about art as a cultural revolution while there is no food in their house.
"I'd rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas," she wrote in the letter. She said, after many difficulties, that two of her paintings would be displayed in a Paris show. The others, she was told, were "too shocking for the public." She said she would always hate Paris.
Meanwhile, at a recent conference at the University of Arizona, a Tohono O'odham man was speaking from the audience, pointing out that there were conferences about "Indigenous Peoples" at the university that the O'odham who live on the land are never informed of. He pointed out that those with the "ground truth" who carry out the struggles, are not informed, or included in the planning, or asked to be the presenters. Tucson is traditional O'odham territory.
The issues of Indigenous Peoples have become a scam for armchair journalists, who never leave their homes, and for grant writers. These grant writers receive grant funding for large sums of money for other peoples issues and struggles, and never tell the Native American grassroots people who are actually carrying out the struggles, and whose issues are used, that they received these grants. Some of these grants are now appearing on the Internet, a big surprise to people who were told there was no funding for a Native conference or summit, and donated all the food with great sacrifice.
"Frida Kahlo, Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray," continues through June 3, 2012, at the Tucson Museum of Art, downtown at 140 N. Main. Admission is charged now after the free Sunday show.