Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not really a review ... but I've been reading about Frida

I haven't posted any reviews lately, not because I haven't been reading, but more because nothing has really made me want to post my thoughts.   Actually, I just did finish a great book last night and meant to post about it ..... and then put it through the book return at the library and now can't remember what it was.  Do I need some time off? Um.... yes.

Anyway --- I recently read a book about Frida Kahlo, and then looked through a nice book of photography our library owns, so I thought I'd share a few thoughts on those.

I have always found Frida Kahlo's art to be intriguing and thought-provoking, but my interest in her was re-sparked again recently when I watched Frida, the film starring Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo.   I'd already seen the film twice (never caught it in the theatre, but brought home the DVD from the library).   After seeing the movie the first time, I found myself wanting to know more about Frida.  I also found myself wanting to wear big chunky necklaces and long skirts.  So, I did a bit of poking around online, and brought home one of the library's books of her art.  But then, I moved on to whatever the next thing I was reading....

This time, after watching the movie, I checked out two books: Frida Kahlo: The Brush of Anguish by Martha Zamora and Frida Kahlo: Portraits of an Icon.   The first book isn't very large, but it gives a lot of information about her life and her art, as well as photographs of her and pages of her paintings.   The second book is just photographs of Frida (and Diego Rivera).  I found it fascinating to study some of these photos after reading the first book, and then thinking about when the photo was taken and what was going on in her life at the time. 

Frida and Diego. 
She really was an interesting and vibrant woman, and while I can't say I love every single painting of hers, I find her art to be very thought-provoking.   Her personal life and the pain she suffered on a constant basis come through on her canvasses so clearly that you expect them to speak (or scream).  I don't know if I would have wanted to spend a lot of time around her, as her moods apparently could be quite unpredictable and volatile, especially toward the end of her life.  However, I can understand why so many people were drawn to her; she may not have had the happiest life, but she certainly seemed to live a life full of passion.   I do find it interesting that she was so drawn to Diego Rivera, even from an early age (and there was a substantial age difference between them).  However, although he wasn't the most handsome man, he apparently also had a lot of vitality and charm.  I can understand how their relationship could be both exciting and quite mercurial at times (he not only was quite charming, but many women found him attractive ... and he responded to that attention on a frequent basis).
So --- this isn't really a book review.  However, if you are interested in Frida, these two books are a good place to start. 


vvb32 reads said...

she is an amazing woman and i really liked the movie too. i saw an art exhibit of her works and was simply amazed. been reading to read about her as well but haven't yet.

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