“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” -Frida Kahlo
“Throughout the early 30s, Kahlo traveled with Diego to San Francisco, Detroit, and New York while he worked for American capitalists on large commissions with leftist themes. Kahlo, meanwhile, with Rivera’s proud encouragement, developed her craft, honed her engagingly sassy persona, and made important contacts in the social and art worlds—from the Rockefellers and Louise Nevelson (with whom Diego probably had an affair) to that other amazon of art history, Georgia O’Keeffe. Frida’s friend Lucienne Bloch remembers that Frida was “very irritated by the famous O’Keeffe” when she met her in 1933—a reaction probably provoked by competitive feelings. But Frida habitually neutralized rivals (usually Diego’s mistresses) with a disarming camaraderie, which in this instance may have flowered into a physical relationship. Art dealer Mary-Anne Martin has in her possession an unpublished letter Kahlo sent to a friend in Detroit, dated “New York: April 11, 1933,” which contains a revealing passage, sandwiched between jaunty gossip about mutual acquaintances: “O’Keeffe was in the hospital for three months, she went to Bermuda for a rest. She didn’t made [sic] love to me that time, I think on account of her weakness. Too bad. Well that’s all I can tell you until now.” -Vanity Fair
Never before has the extraordinary life of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo been framed in relation to the full spectrum of the historical and cultural influences that created her. The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo explores the 20th-century icon who became an international sensation in the worlds of modern art and radical politics. Among those interviewed in the documentary are Carlos Fuentes and Carlos Monsivais. The film is narrated by Rita Moreno; Mexican singer Lila Downs is the voice of Frida Kahlo.“….(more)
by Carlos Fuentes
“Published in its entirety, Frida Kahlo's amazing illustrated journal documents the last ten years of her turbulent life. These passionate, often surprising, intimate records, kept under lock and key for some 40 years in Mexico, reveal many new dimensions in the complex personal life of this remarkable Mexican artist. The 170-page journal contains the artist's thoughts, poems, and dreams–many reflecting her stormy relationship with her husband, artist Diego Rivera–along with 70 mesmerizing watercolor illustrations. The text entries, written in Frida's round, full script in brightly colored inks, make the journal as captivating to look at as it is to read. Her writing reveals the artist's political sensibilities, recollections of her childhood, and her enormous courage in the face of more than 35 operations… (more)
Directed by Julie Taymor
"Nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Salma Hayek for Best Actress, Frida is a triumphant motion picture about an exceptional woman who lived an unforgettable life. A product of humble beginnings, Frida Kahlo (Selma Hayek) earns fame as a talented artist with a unique vision. And from her enduring relationship with her mentor and husband, Diego Rivera(Alfred Molina), to her scandalous affairs, Frida's uncomprimising personality would inspire her greatest creations! Also starring Antonia Banderas, Ashley Judd, Edward Norton, and Geoffrey Rush” (more)…
BOOK: Frida Kahlo, 1907-54: Pain and Passion
by Andres Kettenmann
The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is one of the most important 20th-century painters, and one of the few Latin American artists to have achieved a global reputation. In 1983 her work was declared the property of the Mexican state.
Kahlo was one of the daughters of an immigrant German photographer and a Mexican woman of Indian origin. Her life and work were more inextricably interwoven than in the case of almost any other artist. Two events in her life were of crucial importance. When she was eighteen, a bus accident put her in hospital for a year with a smashed spinal column and fractured pelvis, and it was in her sick bed that she first started to paint. She was to suffer the effects of the accident her whole life long, and was particularly pained by her inability to have children. Then, aged twenty-one, she married the world-famous Mexican mural artist Diego Rivera.
Kahlo’s arresting pictures, most of them small-format self-portraits, express the burdens that weighed upon her soul: her unbearable physical pain, the grief that Rivera’s occasional affairs prompted, the sorrow her childlessness caused her, her homesickness when living abroad, her longing to feel that she had put down roots, and a profound loneliness. But they also declare her passionate love for her husband, her pronounced sensuousness, and her unwavering survival instinct. (more...)