ART//The Diary of Frida Kahlo- int. Carlos Fuentes

The Diary of Frida Kahlo (Jul) Frida Kahlo fascinates many, including me. This diary is a snapshot into the last ten years of her life before her death in 1954. It’s not a ‘diary’ in the traditional sense, but more a sketchbook with streams of consciousness interspersed (Kahlo repeatedly writes ‘Diego’- the name of her husband, Diego Riviera- over and over, as well as letters to him.) This was clearly a place where she worked things out and expressed her feelings of frustration, especially with her health: there are a few drawings that relate to the amputation of her leg; feet- a constant source of pain for much of her life- feature heavily. But there are also comical drawings of her dogs, explorations of her dedication to the Communist Party and delightful musings on the meaning of colours.

The diary itself is presented in three parts: an introduction, featuring two essays about Frida, Mexico and art; the colour plates of the diary presented in facsimile; and then translations and interpretations of the images (although some of these seemed… far fetched at times.)

As a window into Frida’s world, it’s OK, although I think a book on her published artworks might be more useful; but as a companion for huge Frida fans, it’s a bit of a treasure.

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