Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait.

The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait. By Frida Kahlo, with introduction by Carlos Fuentes. Harry N Abrams, 1995. 295pp., numerous colour illustrations, 9.3 x 6". Images from here.

Today is International Women's Day, which I thought we'd celebrate with Frida Kahlo.

Book description:

"Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1919- 1954) kept this haunting journal during the last decade of her life, preoccupied with death, beset by declining health, isolation and repeated surgical operations resulting from the bus accident that severely damaged her spine, pelvic bones, right leg and right foot at the age of 18.

This facsimile edition reproduces her handwritten, colored-ink entries and accompanying self-portraits, sketches, doodles and paintings, which fuse surrealism, pre-Columbian gods and myths, biomorphic forms, animal-human hybrids, archetypal symbols. Ardent entries and love letters mirror her obsessive devotion to her husband, painter Diego Rivera.

In his moving introduction, Mexican critic/novelist/poet Fuentes relates Kahlo's images of pain, loss, mutilation and transcendence to Mexico's historic cycles of revolution and reaction.

Lowe, author of the study Frida Kahlo, ably places the journal in the context of the painter's shattered life. Sprinkled with irony, black humor, even gaiety, and augmented with translations of the diary entries plus commentaries and photographs, this volume is a testament to Kahlo's resilience and courage."

(more reviews here for example).

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