Rare insights into the life of celebrated Mexican artist Frida Kahlo go on show at the Bendigo Art Gallery this weekend, with the exhibition of over 250 of her most treasured photographs.
Famed for her self portraits, Frida’s private photograph collection reveals much about her personal relationships, especially with husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera, the gallery’s senior curator Leanne Fitzgibbon said.
“Of course, it was quite a complex relationship, and quite bohemian for the time,” she said.
“We also learn about her connections with family and motivations for her own artistic practice.
“She treasured these objects. Frida used them as mementos of the people she had loved throughout her life.”
Diego intended for the works to become public 15 years after his death, but they would not be revealed for half a century.
This was perhaps because the executor of Diego’s will was a close friend.
“I understand she (the friend) felt that if Diego was concerned about it being revealed to the public, it was not her place to make that call, so by making no decision and no change to what Diego had put in place she was honouring his wishes,” Ms Fitzgibbon said.
“So the items remained locked away until her own death.”
Ms Fitzgibbon said it was a decision that makes the exhibition even more poignant.
“This has been held back. We’ve become familiar with Frida’s artistic practice over the years, but the photography was so important to her,” she said.
“Her father was a photographer and she worked with him from when she was little.”
Frida Kahlo, her pictures will continue until February 10.
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