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, Hindustntimes reported.
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.