The latest exhibition to arrive at the Victoria & Albert Museum celebrates one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Frida Kahlo is a Mexican artist renowned for her painted portraits, self-portraits and works inspired by the nature and artefacts of her heritage country, Mexico. The exhibition, which is the first to take place outside of Mexico, showcases Frida’s clothing and personal possessions have been on display.
During the early years, Frida would sit for her father’s photographs, later using the photographs as source material for her own self-portraits, emulating their stillness. Frida was fascinated by her complex heritage and was proud of her ethnic identity.
In 1938 Kahlo had her first solo show at Julian Levyms gallery in New York City. In 1939 Frida painted one of her most notable paintings, ‘The Two Fridas’ (Las dos Fridas in Spanish). It was painted in the same year that Frida divorced Diego, hinting at the idea she didn’t need her husband anymore and had replaced him with herself. Although, in 1940 they remarried.
After years of poor health, Frida Kahlo died on 13th July 1954 in Mexico City. After her death, her husband Diego shut her belongings in the bathroom of their home, the ‘Blue House’, and demanded the bathroom to be locked until 15 years after his death. In fact, the room was not opened until 2004, when 300 of her items were discovered in fairly good condition. During the room’s closure, it gained the nickname ‘The Locked Wardrobe’.
The ‘Blue House’ was opened in 1958 as a museum, the ‘Frida Kahlo Museum’. There are approximately 25,000 visitors a month, making it one of Mexico City’s most-visited museums.
Frida has long been admired for her strength, perseverance and determination and today remains an object of fascination. She is embraced both for her fierce individuality as well as her defiance in the face of adversity.
The exhibition is on at the V&A until 4th November 2018.
The V&A will be hosting elements of the 2018 London Design Festival. Follow us on Instagram and keep up to date with the trends that come out of the shows this year.
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