Coming to London Next Year: Frida Kahlo's Fashionable Clothes

In addition to being an artist and activist, Frida Kahlo—with her corsets, hand-embroidered silk skirts, and flower-adorned hair— was also a fashionista. Now, more than 60 years after the 47-year-old Mexican painter’s death in 1954, The Telegraph reports that the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is planning an exhibition dedicated to Kahlo’s eclectic sense of style.

Called Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe, the exhibition is slated to run in 2018 from June 16 to November 4. Highlights will include the artist’s trademark Tehuana dress as well as paintings like My Dress Hangs There (1933); and hand-painted plaster corsets, which Kahlo—who was badly injured in a traffic accident when she was 18— wore to support her weakened spine.

Together, these statement pieces “will explore the development of Kahlo’s style as an amalgam of traditional Mexican garments, fashion from Europe and beyond, and demonstrate how her wardrobe was expressive of the complex relationship between her Mexican and Western heritage,” according to a press release for the exhibit. The museum calls its pairing of her wardrobe and self-portraits "unprecedented."

A self-portrait by Frida Kahlo shows her from the shoulders up.
Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Red and Gold Dress, 1941, Oil on canvas, 39 x 27.5 cm
© Gerardo Suter/ The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and The Vergel Foundation

In addition to Kahlo’s garments and accessories, the exhibition will also include personal items that provide context for some of the artist's sartorial choices, including orthopedic devices and medicines, prosthetics (Kahlo's leg was amputated shortly before her death due to surgery-induced gangrene), and photographs and letters.

Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe is billed as the first exhibition outside Mexico to feature Kahlo’s clothing and personal items. After Kahlo’s death, her husband, the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, locked away his late wife's belongings in a bathroom in their Mexico City home, requesting that it stay sealed until 15 years after his death. Rivera himself passed away three years later, but the room would remain shuttered far longer than his initial request. The Frida Kahlo Museum didn't began to catalog the hundreds of items inside until 2004. They’ve since been displayed within Mexico, but this will be their first appearance internationally.

[h/t The Telegraph]

Turn Your Favorite Photos Into Works of Art With Google’s Art App

Edvard Munch's "The Scream"
Edvard Munch's "The Scream"
Edvard Munch, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

If your local art museum is closed, a new app from Google Arts & Culture will make the photos in your camera roll worthy of gallery consideration. As Gizmodo reports, the Art Transfer feature uses artificial intelligence to reimagine any image you upload in the style of a famous artist.

If you've already downloaded Arts & Culture for Android or iOS, hit the camera icon at the bottom of the app and select Art Transfer. From here, you can either snap a photo or choose an existing picture saved on your phone. Google then gives you a variety of art styles to choose from. You can transform your cat into Edvard Munch's The Scream, for example, or turn your brunch pic from last month into a piece of Yayoi Kusama pop art.

The feature doesn't just apply filters; it uses machine learning to edit the colors, textures, and even shapes in the image you upload.

Dog image inspired by Man from Naples.
Michele Debczak/Mental Floss, Google Arts & Culture

Pizza picture inspired by The Scream.
Michele Debczak/Mental Floss, Google Arts & Culture

Two years ago, Google Arts & Culture rolled out a similar feature that matched users' selfies to their art lookalikes. The difference with this one is that instead of showing you existing art, it creates an entirely new image by combining your photo with a famous artwork.

You can download Arts & Culture for free today from the App Store or Google Play. After having fun with the new feature, you can use the app to virtually explore landmarks, museums, and other cultural institutions from the comfort of your home.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Kids Can Join Children's Book Author Mo Willems for Daily "Lunch Doodles" on YouTube

Screenshot via YouTube
Screenshot via YouTube

For children interested in taking drawing lessons, there are few better teachers than Mo Willems. The bestselling author and illustrator has been charming young readers for years with his Pigeon picture book series. Now, from the Kennedy Center, where he's currently the artist-in-residence, Willems is hosting daily "Lunch Doodles" videos that viewers can take part in wherever they are. New lessons are posted to the Kennedy Center's YouTube channel each weekday at 1:00 p.m. EST.

With the novel coronavirus outbreak closing schools across the country, many kids are now expected to continue their education from home. For the next several weeks, Willems will be sharing his time and talents with bored kids (and their overworked parents) in the form of "Lunch Doodles" episodes that last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. In the videos, Willems demonstrates drawing techniques, shares insights into his process, and encourages kids to come up with stories to go along with their creations.

"With millions of learners attempting to grow and educate themselves in new circumstances, I have decided to invite everyone into my studio once a day for the next few weeks," Willems writes for the center's blog. "Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons. We are going to doodle together and explore ways of writing and making."

If kids don't want to doodle during lunch, the videos will remain on YouTube for them to tune in at any time. The Kennedy Center is also publishing downloadable activity pages to go with each episode on its website [PDF]. For more ways to entertain children in quarantine or isolation, check out these livestreams from zoos, cultural institutions, and celebrities.

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