Frida Kahlo – From Mexico to Milan
Frida Kahlo was a fascinating woman and an original artist. Her works are as colourful as her native Mexico, but they also have strong autobiografical elements, representing a sort of sincere, disarming diary of her life. And what a life!
The best way to get to know this remarkable figure of the past century is to visit the recently opened exhibition “Frida Kahlo – Beyond the myth“, at Mudec in Milan, which lays bare Frida’s soul through her oils, drawings, watercolours, letters and photographs.
Frida Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Calderon in 1907 to a Hungarian/German-Jewish father and a mother of Spanish and Mexican Indian descent. Later, Frida proudly claimed to have changed the German spelling of her name from “Frieda” to “Frida”.
Becoming a painter was not a part of Frida’s career goals, yet her dream of becoming a doctor vanished when, at the age of 18, she suffered a tragic car accident that devastated her body. During her convalescence, Frida began to take painting seriously “to combat the boredom and pain” she said. Over the next three decades, she would produce a relatively small yet consistent and arresting body of work. She developed a sort of folkloric style of painting, quite unique, both drawing from the popular artistic tradition of her country and also reflecting the influence of her husband Diego Rivera, a celebrated Mexican muralist.
All her works, meticulously painted, somehow captures the multifaceted aspects of her personality: the constant physical pain she endured all her life; her inability to have children; the emotional distress caused by her turbulent relationship with Rivera; her political activism.
But what will strike visitors will be the extraordinary mix of sensuality, wit and irony that her paintings reveal. In spite of her lifelong physical ordeals, her work is a hymn to life and to the unstoppable force of nature.
During these cold grey February days, an exhibition that will lift the spirit!
February 21st, 2018