We all know without a shadow of a doubt that Kahlo paintings are amazing works of art to behold. Each is unique and riveting in its own special way, drawing you in emotionally and intellectually. While Kahlo paintings are all well known, what is perhaps less well known is that Kahlo was an avid photographer. A few posts ago we noted that Kahlo’s dad was actually a photographer by profession, and taught his daughter the skills needed to become a skilled photographer in her own right. Well, one exhibition in an Arlington, U.S.A., gallery seeks to build on and provide more insights into the life of Kahlo through her photographs.

The exhibition in question is titled Frida Kahlo: Her Photos and features about 250 photographs from a secret treasure trove of Kahlo and Diego Rivera memorabilia. The original photographs are part of more than 6500 personal effects that belonged to the couple, which were put in storage after Rivera passed away under stipulations in his will. However, after a brief legal debate among the heirs it’s been decided to open the contents early (back in 2007) with workers now examining all the content. Parts of this result are the Kahlo photos, which were taken by the artist and as such directly reflect her interests, tastes and personality.

The exhibition is grouped into six main parts, each displayed in a different room with different themes. The first room focuses on the motif Origins and includes documents and photos of her father, Guillermo Kahlo, the noted photographer and her mother, Matilde Calderón y Gonzalez, the staunch Christian. The second room’s motif is The Blue House and explores Casa Azul, the Kahlo family home in Coyoacán Mexico, where Frida was born. The third room looks the theme of broken body which was perhaps the largest influencing factor in Kahlo paintings: throughout her life she experienced chronic pain due to two major accidents, scenes and resulting symptoms which would feature heavily in her work.

The fourth room looks to something a bit happier: love and hundreds of images of the friends and family that surrounded Kahlo. Unusually, none of her reportedly female lovers are mentioned, leading one to wonder if Kahlo was genuinely bisexual, no photos were taken of them, or perhaps that part of her life is being overlooked. The result doesn’t impact on the overall strength of the exhibition, which is rounded off by the fifth room, which looks at the connection between Kahlo photos and Kahlo’s paintings, and how compositions reappeared remarkably, much like Norman Mailer’s artworks. The sixth and final room is, fittingly, known as Diego’s Eyes; the room features photographs that influenced Rivera’s artworks, showing that Kahlo did indeed have a big influence on the man she was so irrevocably drawn to.

The exhibition will be shown in Arlington because the town is the sister city of Kahlo’s birthplace, and aren’t they glad to be so! County Board Vice Chairman Walter Tejada said it was a very big occurrence for them. “There’s a buzz about it. I think we’re going to have a big crowd.” We know some of you won’t be able to make it to Arlington, so we hope we can help you out. We don’t offer any Kahlo photos, but we do have an extensive collection of Kahlo paintings for you to view. Just click on through and we’re sure you’ll find something to fall in love with.