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#Istayathome: Discover the Frida Kahlo Diary in the biggest online exhibition

21 March 2020

More than 200 works by Frida Kahlo are available to view online during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in a vast digital exhibition organised by 33 museums and institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Nagoya City Art Museum. Faces of Frida, available on the Google Arts & Culture platform, enables viewers to zoom in on paintings and sketches by the late Mexican artist, and browse archival material such as letters and journals.

I suggest you here to visit the interesting and less known section dedicated to Frida's Diary.

“Despoiled of her clothes, showered by a broken packet of powdered gold carried by an artisan: will there ever be a more terrible and beautiful portrait of Frida than this one? Would she ever paint herself—or could she paint herself other than—as this “terrible beauty, changed utterly”? —Carlos Fuentes, Introduction to The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait

Regardless of the many drawings that appear in the diary, it would seem that Kahlo did not necessarily approach the book as a sketchbook. In the essay that accompanies the publication of the diary, Sarah M. Lowe makes the point that none of the drawings resemble an artist working on preparatory sketches or figuring out solutions related to her paintings. The prolific Mexican author Carlos Fuentes distinguishes between Kahlo's choice of when to paint and when to write:

The Diary is her lifeline to the world. When she saw herself, she painted and she painted because she was alone and she was the subject she knew best. But when she saw the world, she wrote, paradoxically, her Diary, a painted Diary which makes us realize that no matter how interior her work was, it was always uncannily close to the proximate, material world of animals, fruits, plants, earths, skies.

Click here for the Diary's online exhibition.

taken from Noble Oceans