Frida Kahlo’s exhibition at the Victoria & Alberto Museum in London has sold out for the next three weeks, breaking the pre-sale record with 20,000 tickets sold online during the first two weeks.
According to V & A sources, the previous pre-sale record was 2,000 tickets in blockbuster exhibitions such as David Bowie when it opened in March 2013. However, the exhibition, which opens Saturday, is one of the most anticipated of the 2018 cultural calendar.
The exhibition, Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, presents the iconic dresses of the Mexican painter, the corsets and a prosthetic leg, which for the first time, left Mexico for exhibition in a foreign country.
In an interview with Notimex, the director of the Dolores Olmedo and Anahuacalli museums in Mexico, Carlos Phillips Olmedo, explained the phenomenon of Frida Kahlo 64 years after her death.
“It gives me great pleasure that we can teach what Mexico is (…) We are a country that has a very old, very deep culture and we believe in our potential that gives us that cultural base,” he said.
Phillips Olmedo explained that “Frida has an iconography and Diego has an enormous iconography and art. I think he is the Mexican 20th century painter who will endure most in the books of culture for his art and his murals.”
Among the most iconic pieces in the exhibition are the Tehuana dresses hanging from the center in the last room that appear next to photographs taken by Nickolas Muray, with whom Frida Kahlo maintained an intermittent love relationship for a decade.
The V & A recreated the physical suffering of the painter due to polio and the trolleybus accident, when she was 18, which left her bedridden for long periods of time.
“If Frida had an accident today, maybe she could have died for what she suffered, not only did she fracture her leg in eight places, she had polio. She suffered all her life and was in great pain,” the collector recalled.
“No matter how bad it goes, it’s worth living, and it’s worth living intensely. And that is a very strong message and I believe that the biggest pillar was Diego (Rivera),” said Phillips Olmedo.
After the death of Kahlo in 1954, her belongings were stored under lock and key on the instructions of her husband Diego Rivera and rediscovered 50 years later in 2004 in a bathroom at Casa Azul, where the painter was born and died.
The exhibition of one of Mexico’s most notorious icons runs at the Victoria & Alberto Museum in London June 16 to November 4.