THE DIARY OF FRIDA KAHLO: An Intimate Self-Portrait by Frida Kahlo

THE DIARY OF FRIDA KAHLO: An Intimate Self-Portrait

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The discovery of Frida Kahlo's diary was major news in the art world; its publication in book form, with an introduction by Carlos Fuentes and commentary by Kahlo scholar Sarah M. Lowe, confirms the reasons for the buzz. A few critics with political agendas might ascribe the growth of Kahlo's reputation to feminist promotion of her martyr status--a childhood bout with polio that left one leg shorter than the other, a series of accidents culminating in a brutally crippling bus-and-streetcar crash that led to an unending round of surgeries and a life of constant pain. However, her work speaks brilliantly for itself, a startling and colorful surrealist exploration of woman's pain and the nexus of ancient and modern Mexican cultures. The diary, consisting of both text and art and begun in the mid-1940s, was never intended for public consumption. Although much of what is on display here might be classified as idle doodling by a great artist, it offers a powerful window into the creative process, a record of Kahlo's emotional status over the last decade of her life. Fuentes's essay is a rambling, overly clever affair, but Lowe's notes are succinct and informative.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
Page count: 296pp
Publisher: Abrams