Kahlo’s closet door to open years after her death in new London exhibit

The colorful wardrobe of famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo will be opened to the public in a new photographic exhibit by artist Ishiuchi Miyako at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London on May 14, 61 years after Kahlo died.

Her on again, off again partner and fellow prominent Mexican painter Diego Rivera locked up Kahlo’s wardrobe in the bathroom of their home which they called “The Blue House” and left instructions to only open it 15 years after his death. Although Rivera passed away in 1957, the room of the former home, now a museum, remained unopened until 2004.

According to the gallery’s official website, Miyako was invited to photograph over 300 artifacts from the life of Frida Kahlo.

Kahlo was born in 1907 and lived a life of much physical pain due to contracting polio in her youth and a serious bus accident in her teens. As Kahlo grew older, her pain intensified with the eventual amputation of her right leg and her outfits grew more elaborate and colorful. The gallery’s website explained, “Ishiuchi Miyako’s images document the traditional Tehuana dresses that both concealed the damage to her lower body and acted as a feminist salute to the matriarchal society from which they are derived.”