When I drove down to the new industrial area of downtown Phoenix looking for the Frida Kahlo Immersive Experience I felt like I must have turned down the wrong street, but then my Australian Siri “Colin” said, “you are here.”
I didn’t know what to expect.
I looked around and there it was – large banners of Frida Kahlo hanging on the outside of a warehouse. I really didn’t know what to expect. There were two entrances in front of me with greeters explaining the layout. The one to the right had rich mariachi music filling the warm outside air. The music led guests to the bar, a Frida impersonator and all of the incredible merchandise for this event. The door to the left was the main entrance to Walter Where?House and the beginning of the experience.
Choose your door.
We chose the right side to get started – I mean why not start with a drink and say hello to Frida? I was in love with the merch and still regret not picking up one of the great magnets to add to my random collection. After sipping some drinks, we decided to go through the other door to begin our experience. Being relatively new to the Phoenix area, I began asking questions about the venue. Turns out – the place is something only to be described as Burning Man in a warehouse.
As I walked through the exhibit, each room was more surprising than the next. When you first walk in, you will come upon an incredible altar filled with Frida photographs and a detailed history about the Day of the Dead and it’s symbolism. If the purpose of the exhibit was to bring her to life to celebrate with you – it certainly worked. You could feel her spirit throughout the entire space. If you didn’t know much about her in the beginning, you certainly did by the end.
I then walked down some dark pathways with historical information and photographs on either side. And then, I turned a corner and my breath was taken away. There in front of me were the most intense projections I have ever experienced. Turning another corner, I found myself in a room with installations. And yet another lead me to a virtual reality experiences that brought to life the most significant parts of her iconic life and work.
The immersive experience has seven transformational spaces and also includes original films and hands-on activations. We took our time and spent about two hours going through the space. At the end of the walk-through exhibit there was a photo booth where you can take a digital photo of yourself transformed into art.
The exhibit is open to the public beginning on July 13, 2022 at Walter Where?House at 702 N. 21st Ave.