London museum explores life behind art of Frida Kahlo




A visitor photographs dresses and tunics forming part of ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up,’ an exhibition of the Mexican artist’s possessions which goes on display outside of Mexico for the first time, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Toby Melville, Reuters

Στη Φρίντα Κάλο, μια από τις πιο πρωτοποριακές ζωγράφους του 20ού αιώνα που θεωρείται ευρέως πρότυπο του στυλ χάρη στο εκλεκτικό γούστο και την αγάπη της για το χρώμα, τo εμπριμέ και τα κοσμήματα, εστιάζει το Victoria and Albert Museum στο Λονδίνο, το οποίο ετοιμάζει μια έκθεση με τα προσωπικά της αντικείμενα!


Ρούχα, περιδέραια, φωτογραφίες και επιστολές που δεν έχουν βγεί ποτέ εκτός Μεξικού, θα εκτεθούν στο Μουσείο V & A από τις 16 Ιουνίου έως και 4 Νοεμβρίου 2018


«Το V & A θα παρουσιάσει την πρώτη έκθεση με ρούχα και προσωπικά είδη της Κάλο, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των προσθετικών, φαρμάκων, αξεσουάρ, κοσμημάτων, φωτογραφιών και επιστολών της», αναφέρεται σε ανακοίνωση του Μουσείου.



«Τα εκθέματα ανακαλύφθηκαν το 2004 στο Blue House [σ.σ. το Μπλε Σπίτι, όπου διέμενε η Φρίντα Κάλο με τον σύζυγό της, Ντιέγκο Ριβέρα, στην πόλη του Μεξικού] μετά το άνοιγμα των ντουλαπιών και των αποθηκών που παρέμειναν σφραγισμένα για πενήντα χρόνια.


Αυτή η πρωτοποριακή έκθεση θα εξερευνήσει την ανάπτυξη του στυλ της Κάλο ως αμάλγαμα παραδοσιακών μεξικανικών ενδυμάτων και της μόδας από την Ευρώπη και αλλού, και θα δείξει πως η γκαρνταρόμπα της ήταν καθρέφτης της περίπλοκης σχέσης μεταξύ της μεξικανικής και της δυτικής κληρονομιάς της» αναφέρεται ακόμα.

Η δουλειά και το προσωπικό στυλ της ζωγράφου ήταν συχνά αλληλένδετα, όπως αποδεικνύεται σε έργα ζωγραφικής όπως «Το Φόρεμά μου Κρέμεται εκεί» (1933) και «Η Αγκαλιά της Αγάπης» (1943), τα οποία θα παρουσιάζονται επίσης στην έκθεση. Η Κάλο ενέταξε κυριολεκτικά την τέχνη της μέσα στην γκαρνταρόμπα της, ζωγραφίζοντας φορέματα και κορσέδες.

Η Γιαπωνέζα φωτογράφος Ischiuchi Miyako κλήθηκε να φωτογραφίσει τα προσωπικά αντικείμενα που ήταν κλειδωμένα στο Μπλε Σπίτι, όταν παρουσιάστηκαν στο μουσείο Frida Kahlo στην Πόλη του Μεξικού το 2012.


A London museum is bringing together Frida Kahlo’s clothes, paintings and objects to explore the adverse life story behind one of the 20th century’s most celebrated female artists.

“Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up,” which runs from Saturday until November 4 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, showcases more than 200 items from the Blue House, Kahlo’s base in Mexico City, where she died in 1954 aged 47.

The house-turned-studio, where she was born, grew up, lived and worked, also served as a refuge for the exiled Soviet revolutionary Leon Trotsky, with whom she had an affair.

“A counter-cultural and feminist symbol, this show offers a powerful insight into how Frida Kahlo constructed her own identity,” said the exhibition’s co-curator Claire Wilcox.


The exhibition brings together dresses, jewellery, letters, paintings, family photos, medical corsets, the make-up she used to emphasise her monobrow, medicines, and her false leg.

The leg has a red boot, a few pieces of Chinese embroidery and even a bell on it “to make it even more obvious,” Mexican co-curator Circe Henestrosa told AFP.

“Why would it be an ugly leg if she was an artist?” she said.

Blighted by ill health

Kahlo’s health problems were devastating, but the painter knew how to make a virtue out of adversity.

The daughter of a German photographer and a Mexican mother of indigenous and Spanish descent, she suffered from polio as a child which resulted in her right leg being shorter than the left. It was eventually amputated the year before her death.

Aged 18, a bus she was travelling home from school on was hit by a tram.

Kahlo was impaled on a handrail, her spine broke in three places, several bones were fractured and her sexual organs were badly damaged, rendering her unable to have children.



Her dreams of going to medical school were dashed, but she turned to painting in her long convalescence, with the help of a special easel with which she could paint self-portraits from her bed, using a mirror.

“It was the start of a great artistic career, but also the start of her physical deterioration,” said Henestrosa, who in 2012 organized an exhibition of Kahlo’s clothes at the Blue House.

‘Good to be different’

Henestrosa has a family connection to Kahlo. Her aunt was part of the painter’s intellectual circle and brought her brightly-colored Mexican indigenous blouses and dresses from Oaxaca in the south.

Kahlo wanted to show her Mexican values and portray herself as “very Mexican” in an era immediately after the 1910 to 1920 Mexican Revolution, in which the country sought to reinforce its indigenous identity.

Furthermore, “she was a communist and it made her seem more like one of the people,” said Henestrosa.

But her politics do not fully explain her style of dressing.



“She started to wear long skirts to hide her leg and it was the first time she started to establish a relationship between her body and her clothing,” the curator said, noting that the indigenous outfits draw attention to the torso.

“That’s what we wanted to show in this exhibition: Frida the person, Frida the woman, someone who liked perfume, was incredibly feminine and did not let her disability define her,” said Henestrosa.

“A dark-skinned, disabled Mexican artist who served as a model for young girls: it’s very good to be different.”

© Agence France-Presse

3 comments on “London museum explores life behind art of Frida Kahlo

    • I agree with you!!!

      Frida Kahlo was an incredibly amazing woman. Her life was filled with physical as well as emotional pain. She endured more in her short life than most people will ever have to face. But she endured. She put her emotions into her painting, and as it were, she wore her heart on her canvas. Her work is a rare blend of true emotion, heartbreak, love, and life, as well as death.

      Liked by 1 person

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