This beautifully-illustrated and engrossing biography of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo reveals a woman of extreme magnetism and originality and an artist whose sensual vibrancy came straight from her own experiences. Born and brought up near Mexico City during the Mexican Revolution, she suffered a devastating accident aged eighteen, which left her crippled and unable to bear children. Her marriage to the muralist Diego Rivera was tempestuous, and she had many love affairs with men as diverse as Isamu Noguchi and Leon Trotsky. Absorbed in Mexican folklore and culture and a lover of dramatic spectacle, Kahlo's tumultuous life is that of an extraordinary twentieth-century woman.
FRIDA KAHLO is probably the most idolized artist of her time. At the root of the scholarly speculation and pop-culture paraphernalia lies Frida Kahlo: An Open Life, first published in Mexico in 1983. This irreplaceable, eclectic collection reveals the complexities, profound sadness, and immutable creative spirit of the famed Mexican artist. The intimate picture of the often enigmatic Kahlo presented in this book has become an invaluable source for Kahlo scholars. Raquel Tibol, one of Mexico's most respected art critics and art historians, befriended Diego Rivera in Chile and in 1953 came with him to Mexico City, where she met and interviewed Frida Kahlo a year before Kahlo's death. She lived with Kahlo for a while at Coyoacan in Mexico City and then for a time at Rivera's San Angel Inn home. Frida Kahlo: An Open Life uses medical records, journals, letters, interviews, and personal recollections to bring us closer than ever to the Mexican artist and her milieu. Elinor Randall's translation makes Tibol's rich portrait of the remarkable Frida Kahlo available in English for the first time.
The Art History and Popular Celebrity of Frida Kahlo
Author: Margaret A. Lindauer
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Beginning in the late 1970’s Frida Kahlo achieved cult heroine status less for her richly surrealist self-portraits than by the popularization of the events of her tumultuous life. Her images were splashed across billboards magazine ads, and postcards; fashion designers copied the so-called “Frida” look in hairstyles and dress; and “Fridamania” even extended to T-shirts, jewelry, and nail polish. Margaret A. Lindauer argues that this mass market assimilation of Kahlo’s identity has consistently detracted from appreciation of her work, leading instead to narrow interpretations based on “an entrenched narrative of suffering.” While she agrees that Kahlo’s political and feminist activism, her stormy marriage to fellow artist Diego Reviera, and the tragic reality of a progressively debilitated body did represent a biography colored by emotional and physical upheaval, she questions an “author-equals-the-work” critical tradition that assumes a :one-to-one association of life events to the meaning of a painting.” In kahlo’s case, Lindauer says, such assumptions created a devouring mythology, an iconization that separates us from rather than leads us to the real significance of the oeuvre. Accompanied by 26 illustrations and deep analysis of Kahlo’s central themes, this provocative, semiotic study recontextualizes an important figure in art history at the same time it addresses key questions about the language of interpretation, the nature of veneration, and the truths within self-representation. Ebook Edition Note: All images have been redacted.
Presents the life of the Mexican painter, detailing her happy childhood, her marriage with the artist Diego Rivera, her struggles with physical disability, and her evolution into one of the most famous Latino painters of the twentieth century.