Frida Kahlo (Life Portraits) by Zena Alkayat and Nina Cosford

I first heard about Frida Kahlo during art classes in secondary school when I was 15. My teacher told me to look her up because she was a beautiful, inspirational artist and she thought I’d like her. She was right (thank you Ms Hibbard).

Eight years later and my love for Frida, and my appreciation of who she was as a person, has only grown. If you don’t know who Frida Kahlo was (you poor thing), let me tell you briefly, but not too briefly:

Frida was a Mexican artist who lived in the early 20th century (so not too long ago really). She is best known for her gorgeous self-portraits (just go Google them), that are filled with symbolism related to her life. Her love life was complicated – she had many affairs with both men and women, but she was married to Diego Rivera, another famous Mexican artist and notorious womanizer. He cheated on her multiple times, including with her sister so they had a very turbulent relationship which she documented sometimes in her art.

She lived in constant pain due to a series of very unlucky circumstances – she’d had polio as a young child which affected one of her legs and then when she was 18, she was in a bus accident that caused a metal handrail to go through her, from her left torso to her pelvis. It meant that she couldn’t carry a child to term and had to endure many operations subsequently. She was such a strong woman, who embraced her sexuality, endured insane amounts of pain and has inspired generations of women.

But her life, personality and work was far greater than what I could summarise in those two paragraphs. Intrigued? THEN YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK! (Hohoho did you see what I did there? I lured you right in).

I spotted this book straight away in the bookshop for two reasons: ONE) I have an inbuilt Frida Kahlo tracker and TWO) it looks hella cute. Like so cute I was instantly reaching for my purse without a second thought. BUT I am aware that some people require to know more about the content of the book than Instant-Frida-Purchaser-Sarah does…

It is only a little book and it is filled with these quaint colourful illustrations on every page that adds to the story of Frida’s life, literally starting from her family background and ending with her death. It tells you everything you need to know, without being boring or droning on (something I myself am liable to do). It was quite pricey for it not being a novel, but I think you are as much paying for all the illustrations as you are for Frida’s biography and so it is worth it.

Frida *is* an icon and I’m pleased to say that I think they did her justice with this book – it is as vibrant and colourful as she was.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s