On October 10th, the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan will inaugurate the exhibition Frida Kahlo – Il caos dentro (“the chaos within”), a high-tech, spectacular sensory experience that immerses visitors into the life of the great Mexican artist to explore her art, humanity, and spirituality.
Produced by Navigare and the Municipality of Milan in collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Milan, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, the Leo Matiz Foundation, the Bank of Mexico, the Oscar Roman Gallery in Mexico, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Museo Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Khalo, the exhibition is curated by Antonio Arévalo, Alejandra Matiz, Milagros Ancheita and Maria Rosso. It is a unique opportunity to discover the places where the painter lived, to understand her poetics and important relationship with Diego Riviera through her writings and reproductions of her works, and to live her daily life through her clothes and belongings, as well as the elements of folk culture that the artist held so dear.
The exhibition opens with an impressive multimedia section featuring animated pictures and a compelling chronicle told through the dates that marked the painter’s personal and artistic fortunes. It then delves into a detailed reproduction of the three environments that Frida inhabited the most at Casa Azul, the famous French-style Mexican residence built by Guillermo Kahlo in 1904, now a destination for tourists and enthusiasts from all over the world: the bedroom, the study built in 1946 on the second floor, and the garden.
The following section, I colori dell’anima (“the colors of the soul”), curated by Alejandra Matiz, the director of the Leo Matiz Foundation in Bogotá, features splendid photo portraits of Frida taken by famous Colombian photographer Leonet Matiz Espinoza (1917-1988). Considered as one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, Matiz captured Frida in the places of her daily life: her neighborhood, her home and garden, and her study.
Upstairs, the exhibition goes on with a section dedicated to Diego Rivera, where Frida’s most evocative letters to her husband are projected on the walls. Another room is dedicated to the Mexican folk culture and art, which influenced Frida’s life so much, displayed on large graphic panels that retrace their origins, revolutions, iconography, and crafts – jewellery, pottery, and toys.
It showcases marvelous traditional necklaces, earrings, rings, and ornaments that embellished Frida’s attire. The following section features Mexican traditional clothes that inspired and influences Kahlo’s styles: large colorful skirts, shawls and blouses, hats and necklaces.
The focus remains on Mexican tradition with a section dedicated to some of the most famous murals created by Diego Rivera in various places around the world: the 27 wall panels that make up the Detroit Industry Murals (Detroit, 1932), the Pan American Unity Mural (San Francisco, 1940) and Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central (Città del Messico) are projected as a whole and in details.
The section FRIDA E IL SUO DOPPIO (“Frida and her double”) includes modlight reproductions of fifteen of the most famous self-portraits that Frida made along her artistic career, like Self-portrait with Necklace (1933), Self-portrait with Braid (1941), Self-portrait with Monkeys (1945), The broken column (1944), The Wounded Deer (1946), and Diego and I (1949). A modlight is a particular kind of homogeneous backlighting where every portrait, previously digitalized, is reproduced on a special film that preserves its original size.
Confirming the Mexican painter’s great global popularity, the exhibition goes on with a unique, extraordinary collection of stamps from different countries, bearing Frida’s effigy.
The exhibit includes Frida’s 1938 original work Piden Aeroplanos y les dan Alas de Petate –They asked for planes but were given straw wings, and six original watercolor lithographs by Diego Rivera.
The last section is the entertaining, fun part of the exhibition: a 10D multimedia room combines ultra high-quality videos with sounds and special effects, for a thrilling augmented-reality experience that engages children and adults alike.