'FRIDA KAHLO. BEYOND THE MYTH.' A NEW EXHIBITION IN MILAN
THE FRIDA FACTOR
No guts, no glory. Frida Kahlo certainly had both. A woman of substance ahead of her time, and a formidable artist whose undisputable creative genius is emphasized in an exhibition housed inside Milan’s MUDEC museum designed by David Chipperfield. It runs through June 3. With its mix of oils, drawings, watercolors, letters and photographs, the show is the most important European exhibition ever devoted to the most famous and acclaimed Mexican female painter.
A seductive, trailblazing and opinionated feminist, Kahlo continues to woo fans even 110 years after her birth. The exhibition also showcases how Kahlo was a political activist and how her longtime lover and partner Diego Rivera, with whom she had a turbulent relationship, influenced her art. Another aspect that emerges is that besides expressing herself dramatically in her painting, Kahlo was also extremely fearless, witty and ironical.
Her signature bold fashion tastes, carefully-assembled look and unconventional beauty were just as unique – jet black braids, piercing charcoal eyes, the monobrow, fresh flowers in her hair, touches of lace and exotic flouncy dresses. Often, they were used to hide the many scars on her body derived from the crippling bus accident that forced her in bed for months, from which she never recovered entirely, but which decreed the beginning of her artistic career.
As one of the 20th century’s most prominent artistic figures, Kahlo donned brightly colored and intricately patterned fabrics, including embroidered Tehuana dresses and Huipil blouses, which have inspired legions of designers. Following her death in 1954, at the age of 47, her clothes were kept locked up and opened to the public only in 2004. Most were already familiar having appeared in countless portraits of Kahlo. They are housed inside her lifelong Mexican home, La Casa Azul, today the Frida Kahlo Museum.