You Can’t Miss the “Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up” Exhibition At V&A

You Can’t Miss the “Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up” Exhibition At V&A ⇒ The “Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up” Exhibition, hosted by the Victoria and Albert Museum, commonly referred to as V&A, consists of over 200 personal objects from the iconic artist that has left Mexico for the first time.

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Frida Kahlo with Olmec figurine, 1939. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

For over 50 years, the precious items of painter Frida Kahlo have been locked up in the bathroom of the Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as Casa Azul, which is the house where she was born, grew up and later died in. Her then-husband Diego Rivera asked for her personal objects to be away from the public eye for at least 15 years after her death, but they were only made public after 2004.

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Selection of cosmetics owned by Frida Kahlo. Before 1954. Photograph Javier Hinojosa. © Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Archives, Banco de México, Fiduciary of the Trust of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums

200 of Frida’s personal belongings were revealed to researchers – photographs, love letters, drafts, clothes, accessories, make-up, medicines, even her hand-painted leg prosthesis. These objects have left Mexico for the first time for the Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up exhibition at the V&A, from June 16th to November 4th 2018.

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Self-portrait on the Border between Mexico and the United States of America, Frida Kahlo, 1932. © Modern Art International Foundation, Courtesy María and Manuel Reyero.

The exhibition gives a much broader vision of the artist and her work, that reflected her tempestuous feelings, due to a lifetime of intense pain and suffering.

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Photo by Jack Hobhouse

In order to create an atmosphere that would resemble Kahlo’s style, Gibson Thornley and Tom Scutt travelled all the way to Casa Azul, in Coyoacán, to study its details. Entering the exhibition, the visitor is welcomed by a tunnel with rectangular pillars covered in a 3D geometric print – a reference to the traditional dresses of Tehuana, worn frequently by Frida. The opening piece is inspired by The Two Fridas (1939), with two mannequins holding hands, one wearing a modern European dress and the other the traditional Mexican dress.

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Left: Prosthetic leg with leather boot. Museo Frida Kahlo. Photograph Javier Hinojosa. © Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Archives, Banco de México, Fiduciary of the Trust of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums. Right: Plaster corset. Museo Frida Kahlo. © Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Archives, Banco de México, Fiduciary of the Trust of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums.

In the second room, the V&A exhibits the morphine-based medicine the painter took to ease her pain, her custom shoes and event the orthopaedic devices that held the upper part of her body up. Make-up, like her favourite lipstick (Revlon’s Everything’s Rosy), perfume, other intact cosmetics and accessories are also present on the displays, with a big photo of Frida laying on her bed ad background.

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Victoria and Albert Museum

There’s also a third space that serves as a re-interpretation of the temple that exists in the gardens of Casa Azul. Behind the glass, more mannequins dressed in Frida’s clothes, some of them never seen before. Around the temple are four paintings where the artist is wearing those clothes. The walls, of course, are an intense blue.

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Victoria and Albert Museum

The long skirts of the traditional Mexican dresses helped disguise the physical handicaps caused by the accidents and the illness. Besides being a part of the way she presented herself to the world, the floral, embroidered, fun and colourful dresses influenced fashion tendencies all over the world. Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up shows not only the surrealistic paintings of the artist, but she adapted herself into a work of art.

 

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Source: Decor and Style

 

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