Frida Kahlo's family released never-before-seen art and memorabilia associated with the artist into the metaverse. The content was launched in a permanent exhibition during Decentraland's third-annual Metaverse Art Week, which took place from Wednesday, August 24 to Sunday, August 28.
The Metaverse has enabled users to explore the art and personal anecdotes told by close family members in a digital replica of “The Red House.” This house represents their real-life version which stands on Mexico City's property and houses many memories from old times that are now accessible through this new technology for all generations.
The Red House is an immersive virtual reality that takes you on a journey through the life and works of Frida Kahlo. Every room in this house represents something different about her relationship with Mexican painter Diego Rivera.
Luke McFarlane, the co-founder of Ezel, the firm in charge of the archival materials, explained, "This house will commemorate the first 20 years." Between polio, coming of age, and a major bus accident, it sets up a lot of her hardships and adversities and her drive and enthusiasm for life."
In an interview, a friend of the Kahlo family and Ezel co-founder, Pedro Quinzaos Cancino, stated that the family was hesitant to release some personal information to the public.
"There was some resistance from the family when I started talking to Mara [Frida Kahlo's great grand niece]."
They began using emerging technologies to tell stories that might otherwise soon disappear. The effects of the global pandemic and private developments within their family prompted them to take a chance on these new methods for storytelling, which has allowed more people around the world to access this type of information.
Cancino stated that he immediately recognized a situation in which blockchain might be useful.
"Blockchain is a fantastic tool for locking in the family's real story and getting it out there without any changes from the media or third parties."
The founders of Ezel stated that they collected nearly 800 different pieces belonging to Frida, such as sketches, original art, and other artifacts used in Kahlo's daily life. Each piece of information is scanned using high-resolution image capture tools, which require at least 30 different images and videos.
Metaverse technology and immersive experiences enable new ways to engage with Frida's art. Cancino claims that the real-life Red House is a private family home. They do not want it turned into a museum beside the metaverse version.
This is in contrast to the Blue House (Casa Azul), which had over 500,000 visitors per year prior to the pandemic.
The digital universe still has some issues with its image and avatar quality, as it did at Metaverse Fashion Week.
The Ezel team has said that, for now, storytelling and archiving are top priorities in order to allow users the opportunity to converse with culture from a different perspective.