Frida Kahlo

Photographs of Myself and Others
By Vicente Wolf

Photography / Art History
October / November 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9823585-3-5
138 Pages / Over 150 illustrations

$65 USD

$40 USD

“I have to give you bad news: I cut my hair, and look just like a ferry [fairy].”

Frida, in a letter to Nikolas Muray, New York, February 6, 1940. Because she knew how much Diego loved her long hair, Frida cut it short in response to their divorce.

“I recommend her to you, not as her husband, but as an admirer of her work: sour and tender, as hard as steel, and as delicate and refined as the wing of a butterfly, adorable as a beautiful smile, and deep and cruel like the bitterness of life.” Diego described Frida in a note to Sam A. Lewiston, an American film critic.

“The only thing I want is for you to get better so you can come back soon to live with me and Senor Xolotl,” Frida wrote in a letter to Diego in 1947.

On a portrait by Nickolas Murray, Frida wrote, “1938 Frida furiosa.”

“Feet, what do I want them for if I have wings to fly.” Frida, in her diary, 1953, on her decision to have her right foot amputated.

“I never painted dreams, I painted my own reality.” Frida, in her studio at Casa Azul, 1951.

Guillermo Kahlo, Frida’s father, took this family portrait in Coyoacan, Mexico City, four months after her terrible trolley accident. Frida rests her arm on her uncle’s shoulder. “Frida vestida con el traje de papa [Frida wearing her father's suit]” is inscribed on the front.

Frida inscribed on her 1951 painting Portrait of My Father: “I painted my father, Wilhelm Kahlo, of Hungarian-German origin, artist-photographer by profession, in character generous, intelligent, and fine, valiant because he suffered for sixty years with epilepsy but he never stopped working and he fought against Hitler.”

Besides the loose photographs in the Vicente Wolf collection, there is an album considered to be Diego Rivera’s personal album. The facsimile printed here, with its empty spots and pages, is as it appeared when acquired by Mr. Wolf in 2003.

Besides the loose photographs in the Vicente Wolf collection, there is an album considered to be Diego Rivera’s personal album. The facsimile printed here, with its empty spots and pages, is as it appeared when acquired by Mr. Wolf in 2003.

Besides the loose photographs in the Vicente Wolf collection, there is an album considered to be Diego Rivera’s personal album. The facsimile printed here, with its empty spots and pages, is as it appeared when acquired by Mr. Wolf in 2003.

“1929 — 19 years old, when I married Diego.” A translation of Frida’s inscription on the photograph.

It appears that Frida has drawn and written on the back of this photograph of Diego speaking at a restaurant.

“I am not sick, I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.” Frida, Time, 1953.

Translation of the text on the back of this 1931 photograph taken in Santa Rosa, California: “Here is Diego with Mrs. Stackpole, then Mrs. Burbank, and Ralph Stackpole last. Mrs. Burbank is very simple and nice and must have been a very beautiful woman, now she is forty or forty-five, but when she married Burbank she was twenty-two and he was sixty-nine.”

“With his Asiatic-looking head with the dark hair growing on it so thin and fine that it seems to be floating in the air, Diego is a giant child, with a friendly face and a rather sad gaze. His prominent, dark, highly intelligent, big eyes are barely still… and are set far apart from each other, more so than other eyes. It was almost as if they were constructed exclusively for a painter of vast spaces and multitudes. Between these eyes… can be glimpsed the invisibility of Oriental wisdom, and only seldom does the ironical and delicate smile, the flower of his portrait, disappear from his Buddha-like mouth with its fleshy lips.” Frida, “Portrait of Diego,” 1949.

In 1951 or 1952, Frida, with her hair down, leans against one of Diego’s pre-Columbian artifacts in the plant-filled courtyard of Casa Azul.

No one will ever know how I love Diego. I don’t want anything to wound him, nothing should bother him or take away the energy that he needs to live — to live the way he wishes, to paint, see, love, eat, sleep, to feel himself alone, to feel himself accompanied — but I would like to give all to him. If I had health, I would like to give it all to him. If I had youth, he could take it all.” Frida, in her diary, 1947.

Summary

Frida Kahlo: Photographs of Myself and Others comprises a cache of rare and never-before-published materials from the collection of interior designer Vicente Wolf. Designed by Sam Shahid, this astonishing collection brings together formal portraits of Kahlo by such luminaries as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Tina Modotti, Julien Levy, Carl van Vechten and Lucienne Bloch as well as candid snapshots of Frida and Diego at work and at home. Selections from the collection have been featured in the major exhibition, Frida Kahlo, organized by the Walker Art Center and later shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This book presents the most arresting photographs from both the exhibition and the vast treasure trove of heretofore unexhibited pieces, and offers a fresh and captivating look at the iconic artist, her exuberant husband, and their coterie of famous friends.

About the Author

A world-renowned interior designer, Vicente Wolf has been named one of the ten most influential designers in the United States by House Beautiful and has been inducted into the Designer Hall of Fame by Interior Design Magazine. Aside from his work as a designer, Wolf is also a collector of vintage photographs, a celebrated photographer, and the author of two previous books on his own design work and inspiration. Frida Kahlo: Photographs of Myself and Others is the first book to capture both his love of art history and his talents as a curator of vintage photography.

 

Why We Published This

Vicente’s collection reveals the captivating, unseen world of Frida and Diego – at home, on vacation, together, and apart. The goal for this book was to recreate that world, both as a unique portrait of the artists and as a compliment to their individual artistic legacies.

See Also

Hotel Chelsea
Talking Heads
Talking Pictures
Bomboozled
Frida Kahlo
Over the Top
Moko Jumbies
Drawing Fashion