Milan, art and passion

Visit the exhibition of Frida Kahlo to fall even more in love with the capital of design

From February, the MUDEC of Milan will host one of the most important exhibitions of 2018: “Frida Kahlo. Oltre il mito” [beyond the myth], dedicated to the Mexican artist who lived from 1907 and 1954. Over 100 works of art including paintings, photographs and drawings are pieced together to illustrate the life of this painter who still appeals to and fascinates all generations. It is impossible not to love her and not to be stirred by the story of her life, her art and passion, paintings and poetry, the numerous aspects of which are waiting to be discovered at this exhibition. Here, to start with, are 10 curious facts you must know before entering the MUDEC.

  1. In reality, Frida’s full name was Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, which the artist changed to Frida in 1935, because it means peace in German;
  2. Frida Kahlo was born in 1907 but always declared that she was born in 1910, because she believed the year in which the Mexican Revolution started to be of fundamental political importance;
  3. The typical costume Frida loved to wear was that of the Tehuana, the women of Tehuantepec of the Mexican state of Oaxaca;
  4. Before becoming a painter, Frida studied medicine;
  5. Of the 143 paintings by Frida Kahlo, 55 are self-portraits. She became obsessed with painting from the thoughts of loneliness and pain;
  6. She painted many of her self-portraits while lying in bed, with the help of a mirror. Frida was bedridden for many months and had to lie totally still on her back, following an accident in a tram. To enable her to paint, her father hung a large mirror from the ceiling;
  7. “Marco” was the first painting by a twentieth-century Mexican artist to be purchased by the Louvre;
  8. Her painting “Roots” holds the record as the most expensive work of art by a Latin-American artist, and was sold for 5.6 million USD in 2006;
  9. Her paintings often contain monkeys, which are a symbol of lust in Mexican mythology, while for her they represented tenderness and protection;
  10. In Mexico City the home of Frida and her husband Diego, the “Casa Azul” [Blue house], was transformed into a house-museum following her death.

In addition to a continual programme of major exhibitions, Milan also has an abundance of quaint little restaurants and cafés, such as Marghe (26, Via Cadore, tel. 02 54118711), which serves delicious pizzas in a cosy and elegant atmosphere that exudes simplicity, with the strong personality of Black&White Cementine floor tiles by Ceramica Fioranese: when style meets design.