ARLINGTON, VA.- Artisphere
is the first and only venue in the United States to present Frida Kahlo: Her Photos, 259 images from her personal collection of over 6,500 photographs sealed until 2007 that allow viewers to experience a rarely seen intimate side of the artist. Admission to Artisphere and Frida Kahlo: Her Photos is free.
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)s extraordinary life and iconic biographical paintings have earned her international renown in the world of modern art. Upon Kahlos death in 1954, more than 6,500 personal photographs and items belonging to her and husband/artist Diego Rivera were sealed and put in storage. For more than half a century this great collection of memorabilia remained hidden from the public. In 2007 this collection was opened and Mexican photographer and curator Pablo Ortiz Monasterio inventoried and catalogued 259 images to create the Frida Kahlo: Her Photos exhibition.
The collection of photographs in this exhibition reflect Kahlos tastes and interests, the experiences she shared with those close to her, and her complicated, but also thrilling, personal life. Viewers get an insiders look, not only through who was behind the camera, in front of the lens or the anonymous nature of some of the work but also through the annotated writing found on the back of many of the photographs.
We are thrilled to bring this incredible Frida Kahlo collection to Artisphere and Arlington, says Artispheres Executive Director José Ortiz. These types of international collaborations allow us to share with American audiences the influences and special viewpoint of such a revered artist.
The Cultural Attaché of Mexico to the United States Alejandra de la Paz adds, This amazing selection of photos provides an exciting and rare opportunity to get a personal glimpse into one of Mexicos most internationally renowned artists; the Embassy of Mexico and its Cultural Institute are delighted to partner with Artisphere to bring the exhibition to Arlington.
The child of a Mexican mother and a father of mixed Hungarian and German ancestry, Kahlo was a lifelong resident of the Mexico City suburb and Arlington, VA sister city, Coyoacán. Kahlo grew up during the Mexican Revolution, survived polio, and was in a bus accident that left her in a full body cast for three months with permanent injuries and the inability to have children.
After creating paintings while recovering from the bus injury, Kahlo sought out Rivera's opinion as to whether she should continue to pursue an art career. Their relationship grew and they married in 1929. Kahlo and Rivera's romantic involvement and married life was complex and intense. Their residence, Casa Azul (Blue House), is now the Frida Kahlo Museum and has on view selected examples of Kahlo's work.
Kahlos work and travels allowed her to become acquainted with many important figures of the age. She had several lovers, including the American sculptor Isamu Noguchi and American photographer Nickolas Muray. This collection of photographs also exposes her connections with friends and the people she admired from afar such as Russian Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky, American photographers Edward Weston, Charles Sheeler, Alfred Stieglitz and Tina Modotti; Mexican revolutionary general Emiliano Zapata; American artists Georgia O'Keeffe and Ione Robinson; and actress Dolores del Río.
Monasterio has arranged the photographs into six thematic areas that align with periods in her life: The Origins, The Blue House, The Broken Body, Loves, Photography and Diegos Eye. These facsimile photographs come from the collection of the Frida Kahlo Museum, Coyoacán, Mexico. They are reproductions of the original photographs owned by the Frida Kahlo Museum and Banco de México, Fiduciary in the Trust of the Museums Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.