|“Naturaleza Muerta”, 1942, Frida Kahlo at the Museo de Frida Kahlo
I thought this meant Dead Nature, but is actually a translation for “Still Life”
“Frida’s use of this traditional dress to strengthen her identity, reaffirming her poilical beliefs, and concealing her imperfections, also built on her own sense of heritage and personal history.”
I love how her sense of style was able to go beyond ‘fashion’ and instead became part of her true identity and sense of self. At the museum you could see one of the corsets she wore, all leather straps and metal buckles. They also showed some of her most legendary outfits, and I love her style.
|Frida Kahlo’s head dress|
|Some amazing cat eye sunglasses|
She would paint herself in the traditional outfits, surrounded by imagery about her life, as well as wearing them. Carlos Fuentes wrote “Frida’s arrival at the Palacio de Bellas Artes would be announced by the sound of her jewellery and how the architectural grandeur of the palace, its paintings and the captivating music of its concerts would be instantaneously outshone by her striking presence”. Surely everyone dreams of being described like that!?
|Photo of Frida painting in one of her traditional outfits.
(Photo from Museo de Frida Kahlo website)
It was while she was recovering from an operation, and committed to bed rest, that she wrote in her diary the quote that Annie’s Fingers uses in the print: “Legs. What do I need them for if I have wings to fly?”. The diary page is on display in the museum.
|“Pies, para qué los quiero si tengo alas pa’ volar. 1953”
This was written a year before her death in 1954.
Without context the quote seems airy and cheerful, but with this drawing it is more than that. She is trying to be defiant. Defiant in the face of difficulty and pain. Having the intimate contents of your diary – and, in fact, your entire house – on display to the general public may be less than ideal for most people. But there is so much beauty there that although I felt a bit like a stalker I felt so lucky to see it. She’s inspirational; her beautiful and timeless art allows her to overcome her physical restrictions.
There is more info from the exhibition about Kahlo’s fascinating wardrobe here and the Museum’s website has lots of photos of her and her art.
All photos are mine except the one of Frida herself. ahhhhh looking back at my photos of Mexico always breaks my heart because I just want to go back!!