This exhibition is based on the remarkable discovery in 2004 of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's clothing and personal possessions in the Casa Azul (Blue House), her life-long home. Hidden away for 50 years following her death in 1954, this is the first time they have been shown outside Mexico.
A display of Frida Kahlo's intimate effects at the V&A is deeply revelatory and riveting.
The V&A's stunning show reveals why the artist's possessions were the making of her.
From plaster corsets to prosthetic legs, Frida Kahlo's possessions reveal the astonishing courage of an artist whose life and work were painfully intertwined.
... an extraordinary testimony to suffering and spirit.
What makes this a clever show, as well as a riveting one, is the connections made continuously between her possessions and her paintings. It culminates in a spectacular room full of her dresses, ringed by a gallery of self-portraits and drawings in which she wears the same items, and stares at us with that black-eyed intensity of hers.
This is the story of human suffering; of a feminist; of a woman who had the insight to redefine her own identity decades before Instagram filters had been invented.
Kahlo feels very present – weirdly, wonderfully so – throughout this exhibition, even more so than in her art alone. Paintings plus artefacts equals surround-sound Kahlo. She's watching us, from under that eyebrow of hers.