LIFE IN PIC­TURES

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Culture -

The iconic Frida Kahlo and her lover are

spot­lighted in a must-see ex­hi­bi­tion. Frida Kahlo used her flam­boy­ant per­sonal style as a weapon of self-iden­tity, mak­ing a state­ment in her sen­sual paint­ings about her­self as a woman, a sur­vivor (Kahlo suf­fered chronic pain as the re­sult of a bus ac­ci­dent in her youth), a lover, and a Mex­i­can.

“Once Diego and Frida mar­ried, she wore in­dige­nous Te­huana dresses from Oax­aca,” says Suhanya Raf­fel, di­rec­tor of col­lec­tions and deputy di­rec­tor of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, of the tra­di­tional maxidresses Kahlo favoured, which also cov­ered her in­jured legs. “Oax­aca was a rare ma­tri­ar­chal so­ci­ety in a largely pa­tri­ar­chal coun­try. To Frida, its cos­tume was a sym­bol of power.”

A third of this tal­ented artist’s work mir­rored her per­sonal pain, en­dur­ing beauty, and tu­mul­tuous 24-year mar­riage to fel­low artist Diego Rivera. Some of the rich, emo­tive paint­ings are on dis­play at the ex­hi­bi­tion ‘Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: from the Jac­ques and Natasha Gel­man Col­lec­tion’. Un­til Oc­to­ber 23 at Art Gallery of New South Wales. www.art­gallery.nsw.gov.au

Frida Kahlo pho­tographed in 1938

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