More than a broken body. Photos from the hidden archive show the inner world of Frida Kahlo

From Friday, those interested can see pictures from her rich collection of over 6,000 items in the House at the Stone Bell, which were not discovered until 2003.

According to the organizers, some photographs are valuable not only for their historical and artistic value, but also for being taken by famous photographers who have befriended Frida, such as Man Ray and Edward Weston.

Kahlo was a controversial figure whose fame transcended the field of fine arts. Her life has inspired many creators. Frida is a model of struggle, especially for women – not only physically, because she had to fight for her health after a serious injury, but also a struggle for love and enough.

Kahlo had a strong relationship with photography. Her father and grandfather were professional photographers, and she herself collected daguerreotypes and postcards from the 19th century, photographs of her family and friends, as well as impressive portraits of herself. She also intervened in photographs in various ways, cut out of them or wrote or drew on them. Only after the discovery of the archive did it become clear that many of her works originated in photographic composition.

Frida Kahlo’s Blue House, which Diego Rivera donated to the Mexicans for Kahlo’s death to turn it into her museum.

The painter’s personal archive remained hidden, it was not opened until 50 years after her death. From the photographs found, Mexican photographer and historian Pablo Ortiz Monasterio took a selection of 214 images that suggest her origins, politics, revolution, and Diego River, her broken body, loves, and friendships.

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)

Foto: spatuletail, Shutterstock.com

Two Frides. A painting that Frida created in 1939 at the time of her divorce from her beloved Diego.

  • Frida Kahlo was born in 1907 in México City. Her youth was accompanied by a number of tragic events – she suffered from severe polio and at the age of 18 she was seriously injured in a bus accident. He had to undergo 35 spine and pelvic surgeries.
  • Severe pain and depression caused by a severe injury haunted her for the rest of her life.
  • During the convalescence, Kahlo began to focus more on fine arts. She painted portraits and self-portraits in the style of original Mexican folk art.
  • Her paintings reflected love, betrayal, political zeal and abortion. She expressed her identity through contrasts: suffering versus joy, darkness versus light, the colors of her native Mexico versus the depression of the United States, life in death versus death in life.
  • Her distinctive works are close to expressionism, surrealism, but also to naive painting with elements of symbolism.
  • Kahlo was famous not only for her impressive paintings, but also for her love escapades. After a tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera, she was also the mistress of, for example, the communist revolutionary Leo Trotsky.
  • Frida Kahlo died at the age of 47.

The exhibition in the House at the Stone Bell will last in Prague until January 16, 2022.

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