A walk-through of the Mexican artist’s retrospective makes you understand the truth about her life — and your own….This July, I ventured into the hallowed halls of the Victoria & Albert museum, with the highly coveted tickets of Making Herself Up in hand. The exhibition promised to offer a fresh perspective on Frida Kahlo’s compelling life story. I knew what most of us know about Kahlo already: she was a bold and passionate artist, a communist by belief, an obsessed lover; she had a bad back, a polio leg and she spent a lot of her childhood in bed, looking at herself in a hand mirror and sketching her own images. What more was there to know about her?
There was however, a yearning in me to see her major artworks, and I impatiently walked from one room of the exhibition to another, hurrying past her family photographs, pictures clicked by her photographer father, her rebozo shawls, other pieces of her iconic wardrobe, and the footage of the revolution. The only time I paused was when I came face-to-face with her vividly hypnotic self-portraits. There weren’t as many of her works on display as one had expected, but the ones that were spoke in vivid colours of beauty, ideals, love, exploration, joy and pain.