Eric Finzi’s “Various Contrivances,” his latest solo art exhibit featuring Frida Kahlo, opens on Saturday, January 20, 2018, with a reception from 4pm – 8pm at the Linda Warren Projects, Studio Y, located at 327 N Aberdeen, Suite 151, Chicago, IL 60607. The show runs January 20 – March 3, 2018.
Linda Warren Projects is opened Tuesdays – Saturdays, 11am to 5pm and by private appointment. Call 312-432-9500 to schedule an appointment. For more information, visit lindawarrenprojects.com
Eric Finzi’s Artist Statement about Frida Kahlo, his subject for “Various Contrivances”
People ask what drew me to Frida Kahlo? I remember reading a 1931 newspaper article
written in America about Frida as the untrained painter and dutiful housewife to her famous
husband, Diego Rivera. It was written in all seriousness — and showed a picture of Frida
naively dabbing away at a painting. The absurdity of the biases to which she was subjected,
and ultimately escaped from, viscerally drew me into her plight. She epitomized the struggle
against a litany of injuries received from a freakish streetcar accident. And the emotional
suffering in her relationship with Diego.
I had suffered my own loss of health and vitality at age 23 when I developed a panoply of symptoms that resisted a diagnosis and treatment. By the time they finally concluded that I had an unusual reaction to a common virus and that there was no treatment, I was reduced to counting steps before walking, as I was unable to walk 100 feet without exhaustion. To lose your strength when you normally feel invulnerable is a life-changing event. I eventually recovered, over a period of years, but not without a very deep sense of the inherent capriciousness of life. I had a long time for reflection upon the randomness of our existence. Thus my deep empathy for Frida’s losses and struggles.
My paintings derived from public images of Frida are both self-referential and relate to the
world from which they are derived. In Frida’s case, each image comes with its own history,
own collective memory, a memory-enriched and expanded by writing and film. Can a painting
capture an entire historical narrative? A cinematic sense of time? My paintings reference,
in their alchemical way, in their melancholic portrayal of a lost world, her struggle to
exert some control over a life that was suffused with chaos, like the resin. Great suffering
does not create great art. At least not usually. But sometimes an artist transcends their time
and place to incorporate the good, the bad, and the ugly in their existence. An artist unafraid
of external critique, unafraid to provoke, unafraid to live as they feel impelled to.