“I don't paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.”
April 4, 2013 6:45 AM   Subscribe

After being locked away for decades, Frida Kahlo's dresses are now on display at her home-turned-museum, La Casa Azul, in Mexico City. Las apariencias engañan: los vestidos de Frida Kahlo ("Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo") features more than 300 dresses -- compete with paint stains and lingering cigarette smells -- as well as shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. The collection is a testament to her unique and influential style, so often seen in her self-portraits; the corsets, leg immobilizers and prostheses reveal the pain she suffered throughout her life.

You can see several of the dresses and many more photographs here, as well as a lovely short film of her and her husband Diego Rivera, shot by her friend and lover Nickolas Muray, here. (Rivera is primarily responsible for preserving Kahlo's belongings after her death in 1954.) The exhibition will be up until November 22, 2013. Previously, previously, and previously.
posted by flyingsquirrel (6 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
The prostheses and corsets are a good reminder of what a physically painful life she had after her early bus accident. It's a miracle she survived, but she suffered so much more than she deserved over the course of her life.

Unrelated: I have considered carrying around a giant copy of Self Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States to unfurl when people ask me about my heritage.

(Like Kahlo, one parent is of European descent and one is from Mexico).
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:21 AM on April 4, 2013 [5 favorites]

La Casa Azul was incredible to visit when I went a few years ago.
Looking at the actual daily tools of a legendary figure is strange, especially when they do remind you of her humanity and pain.
I wish I could go back and see this collection; it looks really interesting! Thanks for posting.
posted by rmless at 7:32 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

We have a big poster of this one, just above our bed. I sometimes wonder at its placement in our house.

Fridacat is watching.
posted by Danf at 7:36 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is strange and surreal in a way of which Ms. Kahlo would most certainly have approved. To see garments that are familiar from photographs and artwork and so full of Frida made real and three-dimensional -- and hanging on faceless mannequins -- is a jarring; seeing them in person would pack a wallop (and oh, how I wish I could).

Thanks for posting this. It brought back many reasons I've been fascinated by Kahlo all these years.
posted by kinnakeet at 10:34 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is beautiful. Thank you.
posted by Anonymous at 5:25 PM on April 4, 2013

Collector's Weekly had a nice article about this too. The image of her decorating one of her plaster corsets in it is so interesting and beautiful; and the description of her accident in it one of the most brief, yet the most horrific I've read.

Thanks for the nice post, and more for me to read.
posted by peagood at 5:15 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

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