I visited the Victoria & Albert museum to see the ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ exhibition. This exhibition from beginning to end was very interesting and her journey I found was quite a sad story.
Frida Kahlo’s childhood was very lively and she loved nature from the flowers to the wild birds and her dream was to become a doctor. However, one horrible accident changed her dream, her love to become a doctor was shattered. Some of Frida Kahlo’s paintings display herself in pain and suffering that she had experienced after this accident.
I found her story very heartbreaking especially after the accident where she had to wear a corset all the time to hold her spine. Frida Kahlo not only wore the corset for support but she painted on it, making it a part of her evoking her strength against the condition.
‘The Broken Column’ (1944) Plaster Corset painted and decorated by Frida Kahlo
After the accident she had several surgeries and she had to have her leg amputated, her pain from this was portrayed in her paintings however, she also tried to make light of the situation as conveyed in her diary where she wrote, “Pies para que los quiero, si tengo alas pa’ volar.” (Feet, why do I want them if I have wings to fly.)
Another powerful and upsetting image, ‘Frida and the Miscarriage’ shows when Frida Kahlo had a miscarriage, she drew herself in a medical illustrative style showing her pain of no longer becoming a mother however, on the other side still being able to make art.
Page in Frida Kahlo’s Diary ‘Frida and the Miscarriage’ (1932)
Kahlo’s paintings shows her love for her country, Mexico through her portrayal of bold and strong colours as well as through her style of garments. Kahlo’s portraits conveyed her personality and her story through her style from her iconic unibrow to the use of her bold jewellery and garments.
‘Altar of Our Lady of Sorrows’ (1946) Frida Kahlo’s Garment
Frida Kahlo’s journey was very sad and painful however, she left behind her mark as a strong, original and spirited artist which I found very inspiring.
‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ Exhbition at the Victoria & Albert Museum
‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ edited by Claire Wilcox and Circe Henestrosa