The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) is honored to be the only West Coast venue for the exhibition Frida Kahlo, Her Photos, which presents over 200 images from Frida Kahlo’s personal Casa Azul archive in Mexico City. The photos offer insight into Frida’s daily life, showing her with family, friends and at work painting. They provide a stark contrast to the collective image of Kahlo that has been largely generated by her self-portraits. The exhibition is not intended to biographically chart Kahlo’s life, but rather to explore how photography played an important role in shaping and documenting her personal experiences.
Divided into six sections, Her Parents: Guillermo and Matilde, La Casa Azul, The Broken Body, Amores, Photography and Diego’s Gaze, the exhibition includes images of Frida, by Frida and for Frida. Represented here are a wide range of photographs that shed light on a more personal side of Frida’s life, from family photographs, both traditional portraits and candid shots at the Casa Azul, to mementos of pain and love, as well as images depicting her interests and associations from the artistic, intellectual and political circles that were such an important part of her world. Included in the exhibition are images by Lola and Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Man Ray, Tina Modotti and Edward Weston, among others. Stuart A. Ashman,
MOLAA’s President and CEO said, “These photographs made or collected by Frida Kahlo give us a special insight into the personal sensibilities of this unique artist, woman and icon. The public will have an opportunity to get an insider’s view into Frida, it will be like sitting with her in her living room and having her share moments from her life.”
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is one of Latin America’s most celebrated artists. Her extraordinary life and iconic biographical paintings have earned her international renown in the world of modern art. Upon her death in 1954, more than 6,500 personal photographs and items belonging to her and her husband, artist Diego Rivera, were sealed and put in storage. After being hidden from public view for over fifty years, this collection was opened in 2007 by Mexican photographer and historian Pablo Ortiz Monasterio who inventoried and catalogued the images to create this exhibition. In Rivera’s will, he specified that the original images belonging to him and his wife should never leave Mexico, which is why the images in this exhibition are carefully crafted reproductions.
In the words of exhibition curator Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, “This holding clearly reflects the interests that Frida had throughout her tumultuous life: her family, her fascination with Diego and her other loved ones, the broken body and medical science, her friends and some enemies, the political struggle and art, indigenous communities and the pre‐Columbian past—all shrouded in the great passion she had for Mexico and all things Mexican.”
Frida, Her Photos is an exhibition by Museo Frida Kahlo – Casa Azul/ Museo Diego Rivera, Banco de México fiduciary of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums trust. Support for the exhibition is provided by Wells Fargo, Marylyn and Chuck Klaus, Rico and Michelle Garcia, Rick and Brenda Garcia, Vance Garcia, Richard Neri and Kurt Schulzman, Christine Cronin Hurst and Mark Hurst, and Erteszek Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Robert Gumbiner Foundation.