By Ruth La Ferla
April 16, 2019

She’s been tagged the original influencer, her familiar unibrow, coiled braid and hoops showing up on key rings, coffee mugs, dish towels and dinner plates. Even a Barbie has been cast in her image, down to her signature flower crown and the ropelike chains snaking to her waist.

She’s Frida Kahlo, of course: artist, activist and feminist idol, her image invoked in regular cycles since at least the late ’70s, with a reverence more often reserved for popular saints.

She’s back once more, her sway, strong as ever, reflected in an outpouring of Frida-inspired jewelry: sculptured hands suspended from earrings and necklaces, Day of the Dead skulls charms, bracelets and pendants stamped with the artist’s vivid features.

“Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up,” an exhibition last fall at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, helped spark this latest revival, and with it an influx of Frida-like baubles. A version of that show, “Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving,” at the Brooklyn Museum this year, is focused largely on Kahlo’s wardrobe and accouterments, not least the painter’s penchant for piling on rings, layering weighty chokers and silver bangles, and weaving garlands through her hair.


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