A taste of Frida Kahlo's life story exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, New York

December 2, 2018

The month of February, world-wide recognized and referred to as the Month of Love will have New-Yorkers showering in more love just few days before Valentine’s Day. On February 8th 2019, fans, as well as Frida Kahlo’s look-up to, will have to brace themselves for one of the largest U.S exhibitions to take place. The Brooklyn museum will have the themed “Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving” exhibition, with displays of a collection of the Mexican artist’s canvases and others works of art. Kahlo’s clothing and other personal possessions such as her pre-colonial jewelry and traditional Tehuana dresses, will be showcased, after they had been rediscovered in 2004 since they had been hidden away for 50 years. Also among the things that will be showcased, include the hand-painted corsets that Kahlo wore to support her back. She had been involved in an accident at the age of 18, when there was a collision between a trolley and a bus she was riding in.

 

 

This is will be a great opportunity to have a taste of Kahlo’s world, an artist who is widely recognized as the master of self-portraits. Hers however, convey suffering and pain, but also the strength and perseverance she had, “I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality”. Because of the accident she had at 18, she was disabled and lived much of her life in constant pain. At such a tender age of 6, young Kahlo contracted polio that had her bedridden for 9 months. And although unexpected of a girl at that time, her father encouraged her to participate in sports to help with her recovery. This was one of the pains Kahlo hold in her heart, still she limped as a result of the disease.

 

One of her early self-portraits was Self – Portrait in a velvet dress (1926). It is believed that the portrait implied the emotional tension she was undergoing in a love relationship with one Alejandro. She is said to have used the painting as a token of love to regain the affection he had for her.

 
We could say that life experience is a common theme in Kahlo’s approximately 200 paintings, sketches as well as her drawings. Her relationship with her husband, a fellow artist Diego Rivera, was also an inspiration for her artworks - although emotional pain was something she was familiar too in her marriage. Their marriage built with good times and love was bent with love affairs from both sides. In her painting Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair (1940), Kahlo is depicted as man in suit holding a pair of scissors. She has her hair fallen around the chair she sits on. This is a representation of the times she would have to cut her hair whenever her husband, Rivera had affairs. Pain is something she tried to cut out of her life but it was not such an easy task. She made yet another painting on based on Rivera's affairs - Memory, the Heart (1937). In this piece, Kahlo paints the pain she holds over an affair between her husband and her sister Christina. In the self-portrait, she wears no facial expression although she has her hair cropped and is wearing her schoolgirl outfit and her Tehuana costume. Each set of the clothes has one arm. Kahlo stands without arms and appears to be helpless.

 

This woman, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), with her frankness and courage was and still is a look up-to to many. Her interest not only in art but politics and sexuality is what drew most people to her. Despite the challenges she went through with her health and in her marriage, Kahlo was not one who would be put down easily.  She went against the basic society norms. In those times when not many LGBT individuals would proudly lay down any information on their sexuality, Kahlo did. In terms of politics, she had a revolutionary spirit, that had her claim to have been born in 1910 to correspond her birth with the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. In the year 1922, she became one of few female students to enroll in Mexico City's National Preparatory School, where she joined a group of students that had the same interest in politics, then later joined the Mexican Communist Party.Speaking of self-love, she had it all with her confidence and her looks. With her thick eyebrows and her hairy upper-lip, she managed to look beautiful. Kahlo was a definition of sensational beauty, irresistible and unique in her way. She had this special skill for applying make-up that had her achieve a natural look. She was a woman who embraced tradition all in her dressing, from her clothes to how she made her hair.

 

For the amazing, one of the many historic exhibitions in New York, make sure to not miss out on the life story of Frida Kahlo (Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón). Tickets will be on sale December 3 - The show is up until May 12, 2019.

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