There’s something going on, something is happening in the world of art. Museums want to come closer to their visitors, introducing them to artists and their work in an innovative way. An example of this is the exhibition “Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up”, which takes place in London, at the Victoria&Albert Museum, until November 4. The iconic work of the Mexican artist is surrounded by utensils and dresses. Watching a self-portrait by Frida and the dress that she wore when painting herself takes us closer to her world and gives us the opportunity to get a better understanding of her life and her work. Reading her correspondence, seeing her photographs, contemplating the world that surrounded her captivates us as much as her gaze. Her legacy allows us to interpret the history and personality of the artist and what was going on in the Mexico of her time.
“Feet Why Do I Want Them If I Have Wings to Fly”
Unique, charismatic, rebellious, the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is known for her personal and fascinating style, turning into one of the most emblematic personalities of the cultural world of the XX century. Frida painted so she could live, painting transformed her life and she transformed her pain into art. A relentless pain throughout her life, caused by a bus accident when she was 18 years old, broke her body and almost ended her life. Her relationship with art began as a way to express her pain, which is reflected in her self-portraits, through her intense gaze and her striking appearance. Her painting is also a way to depict her mixed race heritage and her loyalty to Mexico.
Huipiles, Rebozos, Enaguas and Holanes
In the exhibition there are colorful dresses full of personality, dresses inspired in the shapes and tones of indigenous textiles. Some of them are stained with paint. Frida used to wear these dresses that imbued her with the strength of her land to paint, developing her personal identity and becoming a cultural personality.
The more than 200 objects exhibited in the Victoria&Albert Museum had been in storage in the Casa Azul, in Mexico City, which is the house where Frida lived throughout her life and in which she shared her joys and sorrows with her husband, Diego Rivera. The exhibition in the Casa Azul is very special; I’ve been lucky enough to have visited it many times, touring it and admiring the work and objects of Frida, which brings us closer to her way of looking at life and to her way of expressing her concerns: her interest in social policies and feminism, her intimate work. This is the first time this collection leaves Mexico, and it’s a unique opportunity for an expectator to get a better grasp of her life and work.
Frida Kahlo to Me
We’ll get closer to Frida’s world through her work, dresses, letters, and photographs. We’ll talk about what attracts our attention the most. I, for example, love the way how, to express herself, she personalized her medical objects, such as the religious and communist symbols painted on her plaster corsets or her prosthetic leg with a red boot, which had a platform decorated with Chinese dragons.
Later, on our experimentation table, we’ll have a lot of colors and a mirror. We’ll make a self-portrait inspired by the world of Frida Kahlo.