The Dress of Artists: Kahlo and O'Keeffe with Natalia Zerbato

The Dress of Artists: Kahlo and O'Keeffe with Natalia Zerbato


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In this conversation we will discuss how the way Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe dressed and how this appearance was both a part of their art but also a protest against how women were supposed to look at the time. In the company of a local Frida fashion expert, we will learn to understand how these two artists are related not just in terms of their art, but also with their clothing.

Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe always appear related even if their direct connection is a letter from 1933 and a couple of visits they made to their respective countries. We don't see a lot of similarities in their art or in their photographs: Kahlo is always wearing very bright colors and accessories, while O’Keeffe is pictured mostly in black and white, as well as trying to be as minimal as possible.

After years hidden in the bathrooms of her house, the collection of Kahlo’s dresses was shown in her museum in 2012 for the first time. It was remarkable to see how these artists dressed and to have fashion exposed as art. In 2017 the Brooklyn Museum did an exhibition on Georgia O’Keeffe’s clothes, together with her art and photographs. These two exhibitions can tell us something more that these two artists have in common: both thought that their clothes and the way they dressed was so important that they conserved their pieces in their houses, maybe knowing that in the future people would see something more in them.

Fashion was always considered something vain and ‘for women’, so still today there is not a lot of study about clothes as an important part to understand society. This seminar will open the wardrobes of two female artists that, by their images, were created outside the canvas. The relation between Kahlo and O’Keeffe is more than just for being feminist artistic icons in their countries. Their image is part of their art and their clothes are as important as the other artistic objects found in their houses.

Natalia is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but chose Mexico as her home and her field of research. From Brazil, she moved to Mexico City in 2014 with a degree in Fashion after finishing her research about Frida Kahlo’s clothes. Now, 6 years later, apart from being an expert guide, she is pursuing an MA in History of Arts at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) where she is studying the clothing and style of Georgia O'Keefe's, and comparing them with Kahlo's.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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The Dresses of Freida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe

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The Dresses of Freida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe