Frida Kahlo: beneath the Mirror

Frida Kahlo: beneath the Mirror

Gerry Souter

Language: English

Pages: 0

ISBN: 0760778000

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Synopsis Behind Frida Kahlo's portraits lies the story of both her life and work. It is precisely this combination that draws the reader in. Frida's work is a record of her life, and rarely can we learn so much about an artist from what she records inside the picture frame. Frida Kahlo truly is Mexico's gift to the history of art. She was just eighteen years old when a terrible bus accident changed her life forever, leaving her handicapped and burdened with constant physical pain. But her explosive character, raw determination and hard work helped to shape her artistic talent. At her side was the great Mexican painter and muralist, Diego Rivera whose obsessive womanizing did not stop her winning him over with her charm, talent and intelligence. Kahlo soon learnt to lean on the success of her companion in order to explore the world, thus creating her own legacy and carefully surrounding herself with a close-knit group of friends. Her personal life was turbulent, as she frequently left her relationship with Diego to one side whilst she cultivated her own bisexual affairs. Despite this, Frida and Diego managed to save their frayed romance. The story and the paintings that Frida left us display a courageous account of a woman constantly on a search of self-discovery. Gerry Souter earned his degree at the Institute of Art in Chicago and then went on to do further studies in art at the University of Chicago. Himself an artist, Souter has exhibited his paintings and photographs at the Institute of Art in Chicago, the Phoenix Art Museum and a number of other galleries. A professional author, he has written more than twenty books since 1997, many of which have been extremely successful. His continuing studies in art history and architecture, the sharpness of his writing, and his visual experience add a dynamic aspect to the study of the lives of artists and the description of their works, keeping the reader captivated, page after page.

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affairs of her own on three continents consorting with both strong men and desirable women. But in the end, Diego and Frida always came back to each other like two wounded animals, ripped apart with their art and politics and volcanic temperaments and held together with the tenuous red ribbon of their love. Her paintings on metal, board and canvas with their flat muralist perspectives, hard edges and unrepentant sweeps of local color reflected his influence. But where Diego painted what he saw on

out the French doors into the central courtyard, dashed its length down a corridor of organ pipe cacti and vaulted the wall at its end. Another version has him scrambling up an orange tree and vanishing across the rooftops. In either case, he left behind one sock which Frida’s dog kept as a chewy toy. Some time later, Noguchi visited Frida during one of her hospital stays and Diego entered the room. Panzon must have had suspicions about the young sculptor and his wife because he drew the big Colt

Frida Kahlo’s perception of the economic value of her work began to stir over the next three years. If the truth be told, she never became a self-sustaining artist. Diego Rivera paid her medical bills and kept the refrigerators stocked. Their actual needs were minor, but their whimsical purchases, collections of artifacts and crafts, and other non-essential expenses tallied up huge sums. Though Diego’s commissions – and they were sparse from 1937 to 1940 – kept them in funds, Frida handled most

her left. Neighborhood children taunted her with shouts of, “pata de palo” or “peg leg”. To conceal her affliction, she wore layers of stockings on her thin leg and had a half-inch added to the heel of her shoe. Considering the state of medicine in Mexico of the 1920s – hot walnut oil baths and calcium doses – she was lucky to be alive. To further compensate for her limp, she plunged into sports: running, boxing, swimming and wrestling, every strenuous activity available to girls. But her

and colorfully embroidered costumes – as a hobby, a means of personal expression, not as “art” because she had no thought of becoming a professional artist. She considered the skills of artists such as Diego Rivera far beyond her capabilities. Her earliest works were studies in colors and shapes of buildings such as Have Another One, painted in 1925. It is an aerial view of a town square and has a child’s naïve approach to its flat perspective and the donkey cart making its way across a

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