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Frida Kahlo: the Real Deal Behind the Legend

Frida Kahlo, behind the folklore
Nickolas Muray took this portrait in 1939. Nickolas Muray Picture Collections and Archives

The Mexican artist who, through the medium of fashion, has turned her infirmity into a weapon of innovation and seduction is the subject of an exhibition at the Palais Galliera that will run until March 5, 2023. Lovely and moving in its way.

Beyond Her Outward Appearances: Frida Kahlo”? Frida la Brune (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) is, in the eyes of the general public, who are unfamiliar with the hierarchy of art history, first and foremost an exotic figure, multicolored petticoats, a double braid tied with ribbons, a legendary single eyebrow, and an assumed mustache shadow. She passed away on July 13, 1954. Since the release of the film Frida (2002), which was directed by the famous theatre director Julie Taymor and starred Salma Hayek as a more Mexican version of herself than ever before, she has even penetrated popular culture. The painter who created devastating self-portraits has gradually become obscured by the lore surrounding Frida Kahlo, even though her estate is currently battling for the rights to a Barbie doll named “Frida Kahlo” and other objects featuring her likeness. The exhibition that is currently being held at the Palais Galliera and runs until March 5 reveals another world that is more intricate, more carnal, and more profound. Surreal, in the vein of Cocteau’s 1946 novel The Beauty and the Beast, oscillates between wonder and fear.

It all begins with a sensation akin to unearthing a priceless relic or uncovering an ancient tomb…

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