If you can’t afford the trip to Mexico this summer, Canada Water – of all places – might be offering the next best thing. Here, inside an almost unrecognisable Dock X, you’ll find London’s immersive Mexican Geniuses art exhibition, which takes the art of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and brings it to life with music, moving projections, and even a VR experience. We were lucky enough to pop along recently for a visit, and the show didn’t disappoint! You can find your tickets here, or read on for what we thought…
Mexican Geniuses really transports you into a world of colour, light, and life; if you happened to visit the Titanic exhibition at the same venue, you’ll notice the space has been entirely transformed. Now, colourful banners, Mexican decor, and even hand-crafted chairs from Jalisco fill the exhibition, adding a true touch of authenticity to proceedings. Your journey starts with a look inside Diego’s workshop, filled with towering sculptures and pottery, along with a giant mural of factory workers that both traces his artistic process, and nods to his strong support of the working man.
Around the corner, it’s Frida’s turn to shine; an excellent photo opportunity can be found in front of an amazing recreation of her lost artwork ‘The Wounded Table‘, whilst you’ll also be able to see her famous quotes splashed across the walls. However, the real showstopper of the exhibition, and the place you’ll likely be spending most of your time, is the immersive room, where spectacular digital projections turn Frida and Diego’s artworks into an experience.
Blue and pink flowers cascade down the walls, scenes of Mexican life unfold before your eyes, and Frida and Diego even make an appearance to narrate their careers. We took a seat on the plush beanbags and spent an age just gazing at the incredible projections, all soundtracked by a moving musical accompaniment. It’s a space that invites a reverent silence, but it’s also an undeniably cool spot for a photoshoot, so maybe pencil in some time for both?
Buoyed by seeing Mexican art come to life, we tried our hand at colouring in some figures on the exhibition’s massive, collaborative whiteboard… Let’s just say that we’re not going to be getting our own immersive exhibition any time soon! Our final stop at Mexican Geniuses was an excellent one: the show boasts a fascinating VR experience that invites you to the afterlife, where Frida and Diego reunite to walk you through a Day of the Dead celebration. It’s pretty moving stuff, blending myth and reality in an unforgettable virtual reality experience.
A day out at Mexican Geniuses is well worth it, regardless of whether you’re an art aficionado, or just want to know more about the life and work of the iconic Frida Kahlo. There’s only one potential downside to the exhibition, apart from the fact it ends on September 28: it’s pushed me dangerously close to booking a spontaneous trip to Mexico…
Also published on Medium.