21 April 2018

Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up at the V&A

I'm a bit obsessed with Frida Kahlo. I think it's something to do with how she kept creating no matter how much pain she was in, and used that pain to fuel her work. My collection of books about her is growing rapidly, and when a Barbie version of her was announced last month I freaked out and looked everywhere for one (I'm probably going to end up paying £70 on Ebay for one). When I heard that the V&A had plans for an exhibition of her personal items, I was overjoyed. I would love to see an exhibition of her paintings, but this is the next best thing.

The exhibition includes Frida's personal items - traditional dresses, make up, even her prosthetic leg
This is a real coup for the V&A, as the exhibition has never travelled outside Mexico before. So what can we expect? An extraordinary collection of personal artefacts and clothing which give a real insight into the life of one of the world's best surrealist artists. In her self-portraits (stunning imagery aside) we are drawn to her exquisite and colourful outfits which tell the story of her culture and personal tastes. The exhibition asks important questions about her iconic image (she is the only female artist who's image is instantly recognisable all over the world). She mixed Mexican and cultural elements, and mastered playing with gender often depicting herself as a man.


This eclectic collection of her possessions were locked away in her lifelong home, Casa Azul (the Blue House) in Mexico City in 1954 following Frida's death. Fifty years later, her collection of clothing, jewellery, cosmetics and other personal items was rediscovered. You'll be up close and personal to pieces of her makeup collection, and a brightly decorated prosthetic leg (complete with a red leather boot) alongside stunning specially commissioned photographs and garments. There's also a wide variety of talks and workshops happening to accompany the exhibition, and the perpetually amazing gift shop will be filled with  collectable Frida books and souvenirs. Make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Myself, Diego, and SeƱor Xolotl (1949)
Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up opens on Saturday June 16th at the V&A. Tickets are £15. To find out more and book click here 

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