Kahlo exhibit shows creation of her image as artist and woman
"I paint pictures of myself because I'm the one I know best," Frida Kahlo said, and based on that idea, the Dolores Olmedo Museum is presenting an exhibition that shows how the painter became an icon by expressing her inner self.
Faced with the challenge of offering a new look at Kahlo (1907-1954), the Mexico City museum is putting 36 of her works on show "to portray how, throughout her entire life, she continued to create her image as a woman and artist," the curator of the exhibit, Josefina Garcia, told EFE.
For three months starting July 6 - coinciding with the artist's date of birth 110 years ago - the Dolores Olmedo Museum will again present the Kahlo collection, which has been two years away from Mexico touring museums in the United States, South Korea and Russia.
The exhibition, which avoids following a chronological line, opens with a big blown-up black-and-white snapshot of Kahlo, taken by her father, Guillermo, in which she is seen seated, holding a book and soberly dressed in black.
Another photo on the facing wall stands out in wild contrast - a colorful photo shot by Nickolas Murray in which the painter appears in front of a flowery green background wearing a flowery "tehuana" dress and with colorful flowers in her pulled-back hair.
The fact is that Kahlo "created her own pictorial style and her own lifestyle," unlike other artists of the time who were marked by Mexican nationalism and followed such established styles as surrealism, symbolism or muralism," Garcia said.
Oil paintings, drawings, dresses and phrases from her diary make up an exhibition that illustrates the subjects she revisited time after time, including the dualism of life and death, of suffering and sexuality.
"If we could have an exhibition of the more than 200 works she painted during her lifetime, we'd only have to see them to understand her entire history," said the curator Garcia, who is also the museum's director of collections and educational services.
Among the curiosities of the show is a drawing the artist gave to actress Dolores del Rio: a view of New York in which the city's skyscrapers appear through the open window of a room.
Also noteworthy is the sketch Kahlo drew entitled "Self Portrait with Airplane," a work that in the year 2000 set a record as the Latin American artwork auctioned off for the highest price up to that time.