Frida Kahlo’s Hidden Wardrobe Unlocked After Almost 50 Years Uncover Intimate Details About Her Life
Frida Kahlo was one of the most famous Mexican painters in the world, and with her beautiful art, she left her mark on the world. And while she is known for her art she is also known for her unique style and vibrant personality. The artist died in 1954 at the age of 47 leaving behind lots of original art, but not everybody knows that she also left behind her unique collection of clothes, which were revealed to the public once again after being locked away for almost 50 years. Frida's husband, Diego Rivera also an artist, was left with an impressive wardrobe of his late wife, which he decided to seal in the bathroom of their Mexico City home, and ordered to keep the wardrobe hidden away until 15 years after his death. He passed away soon after his wife in 1957, but Kahlo's wardrobe and belongings were left locked until 2004 when the museum decided to catalog its content. The photographer who got the privilege to capture over 300 of Frida's wardrobe items was the renowned Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyako. Miyako photographed the items using a 35mm Nikon camera and natural light.
The wardrobe and belongings that Kahlo left behind are a colorful mix of things that are telling of the artist's life. With things like earrings, a prosthetic leg, cats eye glasses, Kahlo's fringed boots, traditional Tehuana dress, knit swimsuit, portable ashtray and more. Kahlo’s leg was amputated in 1953, and she designed a prosthetic leg with embroidered red lace-up boots and a bell attached. Kahlo’s friends noted that the more pain the artist felt, and the more incapacitated she became, the more elaborate her outfits were. Kahlo's right leg was thinner than her left after childhood polio, and it was also later fractured in 11 places after she had a horrific bus accident in her 20s. As a result, Kahlo wore long, traditional Tehuana dresses that concealed her lower body. After Kahlo's bus accident, she was in a full body cast for three months, and she remained in pain for the rest of her life. Kahlo painted her casts and corsets, turning them from pieces of medical equipment into artworks.
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was born July 6, 1907, and lived until July 13, 1954. Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, she was a Mexican painter, who mostly painted self-portraits. Kahlo, inspired by Mexican popular culture, she painted naïve folk art style which explored postcolonialism, identity, gender, race and class in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicanidad movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a Surrealist along with a magical realist. Her art work has been celebrated internationally as emblematic of Mexican national and indigenous traditions, and by feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form. Kahlo was left disabled by polio as a child, and at the age of eighteen, she was seriously injured in a traffic accident, which caused her pain and medical problems for the rest of her life. Before the accident, Kahlo had been a promising student headed for medical school, but after her accident, she had to abandon her higher education. Although art had been her hobby during her childhood after her accident, she began to entertain the idea of becoming an artist during her long recovery.
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