To celebrate the opening of the Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum this summer, the museum has commissioned Kristjana to create a print that pays homage to the beloved Mexican artist.
It takes inspiration from Kahlo’s work and the detailed and colourful style of Mexican folk culture. ‘Frida loved flowers often wearing them in her hair and had a deep affinity for animals,’ says Williams. ‘These motifs are the lifeblood of my work too, so it has been moving and inspiring to weave together both our styles.’
The face is modeled on a Mexican skull (a recurrent theme in Kristjana’s work too) and is encircled by a mirror frame, because much of Kahlo’s work takes the form of a self-portrait. Similarly, the wheelchair she would sit in to study her reflection is tangled in the artist’s hair. ‘I wanted to represent Frida’s face because it relates to questions of identity. Who was she? What inspired her? And how does her body of work reflect her Mexican culture and heritage?’ says Kristjana.
Beneath this face, which hangs in a Mexican sky, are two cats. ‘They represent the duality in Frida’s life,’ she explains. ‘Her double origins (father and mother) and the two sides of her, the one Diego her longtime lover adored and the one he didn’t.’