Imagining Frida Kahlo in Adelaide

 Part of a portrait photograph of Friday Khalo by photographer (and lover) Nickolas Muray. Called Frida Khalo on White Bench. 

Part of a portrait photograph of Friday Khalo by photographer (and lover) Nickolas Muray. Called Frida Khalo on White Bench. 

This is a sort of memo (and appeal) to Nick Mitzevich, director of the Art Gallery of SA.

Word has it the next blockbuster for 2014 at the AGSA is going to be another dead white male, after this year’s (fabulous) Turner exhibition, although probably French.

Now given Talking Adelaide is obsessed with all things French, that wouldn’t be too bad – especially, for example, if it was a visit from the collection of the Musee Matisse, in Nice.

However, TA would like to put forward its own suggestion – a dead (non-white) female instead. One Frida Kahlo.

 

As much as I enjoyed the Turner, imagine if our Art Gallery could secure an extraordinary exhibition such as this one which opened earlier this year, Appearances Can Be Deceiving: Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe, at the Museo Frida Kahlo, in Mexico City.

Reading about it is enough to make me want to fly straight to Mex City before November (when the exhibition ends).

For the past decade, the Museo Frida Kahlo has been cataloguing some 300 pieces of clothing, jewellery and accessories plus documents, photographs and artworks all belonging to Frida, that were locked away after her death, in 1954, by her husband and artist Diego Rivera in a bathroom in the Blue House, the famous home they shared in Mexico City. Frida’s legacy wasn’t unlocked until 2002.

I’m linking (below right) to this long but compelling interview with the curator about the background to the exhibition that finally presents Kahlo’s “attire through the lens of disability and female empowerment, as well as her continued influence on fashion. The exhibition focuses on the ways Kahlo used her iconic style, often composed of traditional Tehuana garments, to project her feminist and socialist beliefs while also masking her debilitating injuries.”

Don’t you think this exhibition would push all the buttons: it’s 20th century, modern, has fashion/textile overtones, is about a culture so different from our own, has disability themes (so topical here) female empowerment and given that Mexican food is so popular now, we’d get all those hip and groovy types from Melbourne and Sydney to travel here. People do travel for art – the Turner attracted heaps from Perth apparently.

Oh, and the curator is now based in Singapore – so lots of publicity there, handy marketing link to Singapore Airlines? And also Vogue, as the Mexican  edition had a hand in mounting the exhibit. 

As always, let me know what you think – this is the kind of “blockbuster” I’d love to see here.

(See links at right). 

 Frida Kahlo in New York City. Picture by Nickolas Muray 1938

Frida Kahlo in New York City. Picture by Nickolas Muray 1938

 Classic Frida by Nickolas Muray.

Classic Frida by Nickolas Muray.