Museums across the world collaborate for virtual Frida Kahlo exhibition

·2-min read

Google Arts & Culture has joined forces with 33 museums to stage "Faces of Frida," as most cultural institutions have closed their doors in reaction to the global COVID-19 crisis.

This digital exhibition includes more than 200 masterworks by the late Mexican artist, which come from the collections of museums like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nagoya City Art Museum and the Museo Frida Kahlo.

The show also features images of Kahlo's colorful clothing as well as archival material, such as letters and journals.

Among them is a photograph of a plaster corset that Kahlo painted and decorated after her devastating bus accident as a teenager. "I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down.... The other accident is Diego [Rivera]," the Mexican artist once said.

A section of "Faces of Frida" is dedicated to her tumultuous relationship with her second husband and fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera, who Kahlo first met as a teenager at the Bolívar Auditorium of the National Preparatory School.

At the time, Rivera was painting his first significant mural, "Creation," which he later described in his autobiography as an attempt to "reflect the social life of Mexico as I saw it, and through my vision of the truth to show the masses the outline of the future."

Art aficionados will also discover a series of editorial features dedicated to Kahlo's life and work, including her aesthetic influence on the music and fashion industries.

Elsewhere, Julio Salgado, Camila Fontenele de Miranda and Raychelle Duazo discuss how Kahlo became an icon for LGBTQ+ artists over the years.

"Her work is very relevant today because art is the way that we get to own our queer narratives. Whether it's a painting, a film, a book, it is important that we challenge the ideas of who we are as queer people. Frida, and other queer artists of colur specifically, did this a long time ago and we must continue and honor that tradition," California-based artist and activist Julio Salgado writes.

"Faces of Frida" is one of numerous virtual exhibitions on view in the Google Arts & Culture platform, which launched in 2011 as part of the Google Cultural Institute to digitise artworks in museums.

Google Arts & Culture has since partnered with more than 1,500 museums and cultural institutions in 70 countries, becoming a major producer of cultural content with 50 million people reportedly using the Arts & Culture website.