Frida's Fragrance: Art, Scent, & Persona

Photo by Lucienne Bloch

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century, is celebrated for her groundbreaking self-portraits, her proud embodiment of her Mexican heritage, her political activism, and her persistence in the face of physical disability. She has been the subject of many books, exhibitions, documentaries, even a Hollywood film. Our knowledge of Kahlo as an artist and a woman is extensive. However, new sources of information were revealed in 2004, when the Museo Frida Kahlo opened two rooms of Kahlo’s home that had been sealed since her death. The contents of those rooms included previously unknown works of art, hundreds of photographs, personal papers, and personal possessions such as garments, jewelry, and cosmetics---material that recently has been featured in new publications and exhibitions.

The “rediscovery” of these intimate belongings---particularly her clothing---has expanded our understanding of Kahlo’s deliberate, meaningful self-presentation in her art and life. And if we can analyze Kahlo’s multi-layered identity through her choice of regional Mexican dress, for example, what can we say about her collection of perfumes? Similar to fashion, scent can be a form of self-expression, a means of shaping and sharing a persona.

In this “show and smell” Olio, we will sample five perfumes owned by Kahlo while viewing examples of her art. Hearing the back-story and cultural context of each perfume, we will draw analogies between the scent and Kahlo’s image. Can an olfactory exploration of Kahlo’s favorite fragrances further enhance our appreciation of this iconic artist?




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Other upcoming Olios


Aug 20

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Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Aug 21

Prospect Park Philosophy | Art vs. Reality

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:15 p.m. at Prospect Park (Grand Army Entrance)

Sign Up - $15

Aug 21

Philosophy Club | "God is Dead"

Taught by Jeanne Proust
8 p.m. at Living Room

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Aug 22

Margaret Fuller, Beethoven, and Revolution in the Minds of Women

Taught by Christina Katopodis
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Aug 24

OlioHouse Finale | The Problem with the End of the World

Taught by Michael Prettyman
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Aug 28

Eastern Philosophy and Relationships: The Interplay of Yin & Yang

Taught by Darryl Aiken-Afam
7 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

Sign Up - $15

Sep 17

Mediated Intimacy: The Dating App Landscape

Taught by Pani Farvad
7 p.m. at Living Room

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Sep 19

* Sold Out * OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

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