[March 9 2013]
Set inside legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s former home – La Casa Azul in the bohemian neighbourhood of Coyoacán in Mexico City – the Museo Frida Kahlo presents their latest exhibition in collaboration with Vogue Mexico. Celebrating Kahlo’s remarkable style and self-created artistic identity, the exhibition presents sketchbooks and artworks by Kahlo alongside key pieces from Kahlo’s personal wardrobe: intricately embroidered textiles and dresses, braided flower headpieces, Chinese-inspired laced boots with flaming dragons, a small gold ashtray and jewellery, amongst others. The exhibition extends through a presentation of never-before exhibited photographs of Kahlo, and contemporary designs by fashion designers such Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons and Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy offering tribute to Kahlo’s flamboyant style through their collections. Mixing traditional Oaxacan costumes from Tehuantepec to her own personal mythology, Kahlo’s stylistic vocabulary fused her love of Pre-Hispanic mythology and reverence for her Mexican indigenous heritage, an interest shared with her husband Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Philosophy and politics surface in the mix with Kahlo affirming her revolutionary convictions through a Communist hammer and sickle painted on one of her plaster cast corsets. The exhibition takes its title from an artwork by Frida Kahlo of the same title – Las Apariencias Engañan (Appearances can be Deceiving) – where Kahlo portrays herself in manner of an X-Ray, revealing her dramatic disabilities concealed beneath the layers; the consequences of a severe bus accident during her youth. Kahlo was to suffer her whole life from these injuries, fuelling her art with a revolutionary passion and spirituality. Provocative, surreal, and poetic, Kahlo’s art transcended painting, extending onto her very self to create a living and total work of art. Appearances can be deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo is on view through November 22 2013 at the Museo Frida Kahlo, Londres 247, Col. Del Carmen, Coyocan, Mexico City, Mexico.
Photo and text Sophie Pinchetti