Today, Frida Kahlo remains one of the most celebrated artists in modern art. In terms of subject matter, Kahlo favored self-portraits and scenes rooted in her Mexican heritage. Given the deeply personal nature of these themes, art historians and art lovers alike are able to learn about Kahlo through her paintings. While studying her art is an excellent way to get to know the artist, this rare collection of photographs also offers an intimate glimpse into her life.
Taken in the 1920s, the photos present Kahlo—who was born in 1907—as a young woman. Set in various locations over the course of a number of years, the photos trace Kahlo’s journey into early adulthood. Some of them appear to be formal portraits of the artist. These photos were likely taken at National Preparatory School, where Kahlo was enrolled in 1922. In addition to traditional portrayals, casual shots with family, friends, peers, and her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera, also comprise the collection of rare photographs. Even in such informal situations, Kahlo seldom smiles—a persona she would retain in future photographs and stoic self-portraits.
While ample paintings and photographs of Kahlo exist in the public sphere, most of them are from later time periods. For example, her most well-known self-portrait paintings, like The Two Fridas, Self-Portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, and The Broken Column, were produced in the late 1930s and 1940s. Similarly, iconic photographs taken by contemporaries like Nickolas Muray and Lucienne Bloch also depict an older Kahlo. Thus, these rare, earlier photographs help us to fill in the gaps and and see the artist like we’ve never seen her before.
These fascinating photographs offer a rare glimpse of Frida Kahlo in the 1920s.
h/t: [Vintage Everyday]