Ishiuchi Miyako on Photographing Frida Kahlo’s Belongings

‘Kahlo’s dresses, corsets and shoes took on the shapes of her love, pain and identity, still palpable 58 years after her death’

Frida Kahlo, Watermelons, 1954, oil on masonite, 50 × 60 cm. Courtesy: Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico DF and DACS

In 2012, I photographed Frida Kahlo’s belongings in the garden of La Casa Azul in Mexico City, the artist’s former home which is now the Museo Frida Kahlo. Kahlo’s dresses, corsets and shoes took on the shapes of her love, pain and identity, still palpable 58 years after her death, striking me with a stunning reality. I could sense her spirit of kindness and compassion, contrasting vividly with the frequently shocking content of the paintings she rendered with such depth and delicacy.

Published in Frieze Masters, issue 7, 2018, with the title ‘Artist's Artists’.

Ishiuchi Miyako lives in Tokyo and Gunma, Japan. In 2017–18, she had a solo exhibition at the Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan. This year, her work has been included in the two-person show ‘Hiroshima’ at the Chihiro Art Museum Azumino, Japan, and the group show ‘The Origins of Japanese Contemporary Photography: Film Grain as Words’ at the Goeun Museum of Photography, Korea. She will have a solo presentation with Michael Hoppen Gallery in ‘Spotlight’ at Frieze Masters, London, in October.

Issue 7

First published in Issue 7

September 2018

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