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Frida Kahlo – Her Photos exhibition displayed in Porto for the first time

The Frida Kahlo – Her Photos exhibition, curated by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, the well-known Mexican photographer, was produced by Hilda Trujillo Soto, director of the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. The exhibition is shown for the first time at the Portuguese Centre for Photography in Porto from 5 July to 4 November 2018.

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), one of the most prominent figures of the 20th century, is primarily known for her turbulent biography and her surrealist paintings full of references to Mexican traditions, but few people know that Frida was also passionate about photography. Throughout her short life, the artist collected more than 6,000 photographs, which were stored in her personal archive until very recently. Venturing into her huge collection, the 241 photographs selected not only depict different stages and people in Frida’s life, but they are also items of sentimental value. To Frida, a photograph was a precious relic of the past, an object to be cherished and a powerful instrument of creative work.

The exhibition is thematically divided into six sections: The Origins; The Blue House (Casa Azul); Politics, Revolutions and Diego; The Broken Body; Frida’s Loves; and Photography. Beyond the historic and artistic value of these photographs, some are also valuable in that they were taken by famous photographer friends of Frida, including Man Ray, Martin Munkácsi, Edward Weston, Brassaï, Tina Modotti, Pierre Verger and Manuel Álvarez Bravo.

Frida Kahlo – Her Photos has been hugely successful in all the venues where it has been shown. The first presentation was at the Museo Frida Kahlo itself, in Mexico City in 2009. It was then presented in other European countries (Poland, Portugal and Germany), in North America, where it was shown at various venues in the United States and again in Mexico, in South America (twice in Brazil) and in New Zealand. The exhibition’s most recent destination was the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Canada, where it attracted an astonishing 50.000 visitors.