The intertwined creative and personal lives of two trailblazing artists whose lifestyles were as avant-garde as their work.
The creative and personal lives of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were dramatically linked from the time they met. They initially bonded over Frida’s budding attempts at painting, but they soon fell in love. Frida’s life was complicated by injuries she carried from a serious streetcar accident that doctors had not expected her to survive. Diego was a complex man, devoted to his art and communist politics while unwilling to remain faithful to Frida. Their tumultuous relationship and her broken body were both important influences on Kahlo’s deeply personal work, while Rivera’s extensive murals and other works reflected his politics and love of the Mexican people. Reef offers a balanced and cleareyed examination of this powerful relationship, contextualizing it against the backdrop of national politics in Mexico and international change ushered in by the Great Depression and World War II. The account also cogently reveals how these shifts affected the artistic world as well. The clear narrative deftly handles complex political and artistic ideas and sheds light on how the couple’s unusual connection enhanced and occasionally detracted from their work. The many photographs and examples of the artists’ work neatly complement the text.
Compelling reading for art lovers. (timeline, source notes, bibliography; index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 12-16)