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Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

You know that really cool cousin you have. The one with the stylish wardrobe and exceptional taste in men, music and the magic of life?

That to me, is exuded by Frida, in all her glory.

She has long been celebrated as an icon. With her doesn’t-quite-give-a-stuff attitude, superb talent and eagle eye for the quintessentially quirky yet beautiful.

Now she’s here (V&A in London). In the form of an exhibition celebrating select pieces. I’m hoping her essence and presence shall be felt, in person. As this aims to highlight some select personal belongings to tell – in more depth – her story. I’m not going to mention the turmoil and pain she went through all her life, you already know that bit. **spoiler alert** that is how and why she created the way she did.

Left, string of irregular pre-Columbian jade beads with a central pendant carved as a fist, excavated from a Maya site. Right, pre-Columbian jade beads, acquired from an archaeological site, both assembled by Frida Kahlo. Photography: Javier Hinojosa, © Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Archives, Banco de México, Fiduciary of the Trust of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums

My connection with Cousin Frida began in my adolescence. When I was first introduced to her, with a lengthy study. Curated by an incredible teacher, Mrs B. Some of the images were jarring for my teenage eyes. Yet, even back then elements of her story resonated with me.

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I’ve included the jade necklaces in this post, because I had to. Frida collected the jade, found on archaeological sites and strung them into these necklace. Look forward to seeing them in person, in the exhibition.

Image 3, string of irregular pre-Columbian jade beads with a central pendant carved as a fist, excavated from a Maya site. Image 2, pre-Columbian jade beads, acquired from an archaeological site, both assembled by Frida Kahlo. Photography: Javier Hinojosa, © Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Archives, Banco de México, Fiduciary of the Trust of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums

June 16 to November 4, 2018

#inspiredbyfrida curated by Claire Wilcox

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 2RL