frida: homemade surrealism


What one takes away from Kahlo’s art, however, is a less wide-ranging or exalted experience. She found a way to show a certain emotion, at once accusatory, nervy, furious, a little adolescent, and, as Fuentes says, funny. She is giving the world the finger, whether in The Suicide of Dorothy Hale, where she does it with a masterful complexity, in some of her folk art– like self-portraits of the 1930s, where she can be raw or charming about it, or even in her less spirited self-portraits of the following decade, when illness was getting the better of her. It was an emotion, in any event, that she never quite lost, as it is there in the last words of her diary when she wrote, “I hope the exit is joyful—and I hope never to come back.”

more from the NYRB here.