Intimate photos of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's belongings go on display in London, years after her posessions were locked away by her husband Diego Rivera in their Mexico City home following her death. Rough Cut. (No reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: For 50 years, the colourful wardrobe and personal belongings of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo were hidden away in a bathroom. Her husband, muralist Diego Riviera, stored them after her death from pneumonia in 1954 at their Mexico City home, "The Blue House", stipulating that the room stay sealed until 15 years after his death. It was. Rivera died in 1957 but the room remained unopened until 2004 when the Frida Kahlo Museum, housed in the couple's old home, began to catalogue its contents and invited Ishiuchi Miyako to take photographs of the more than 300 items. Those photographs are now on display in an exhibition in London, showing Kahlo's corsets, shoes, sunglasses as well as clothing she used to hide her disfigurement following polio and a devastating bus accident. Gallery owner and curator of the exhibit, Michael Hoppen, said: ''She herself, was an extraordinary woman and so is Ishiuchi. That combination has engendered an enormous amount of interest from the photographic community, from the Frida Kahlo fanbase, from political and strategic point of view. Everybody seems to be looking at what this woman stood for, and what she was able to do''. As a child, Kahlo suffered a bout of polio that left one of her legs thinner. At 18, she was in a bus accident that broke her spine in three places. Her work - mainly self portraits - celebrates Mexican tradition and is known worldwide for its depiction of female experiences and form. Miyako's photographs document the traditional dresses that Kahlo, a strong supporter of Mexico's traditional culture, chose to hide her disfigurement as well as her prosthetic leg, adorned with Chinese embroidery and a small bell. The Japanese photographer spent three weeks taking the pictures, which have also been published in a book. Kahlo, whose life was also fraught with tumultuous affairs, including with Leon Trotsky and Josephine Baker, died at 47. The show at the Michael Hoppen gallery runs until July 12.