Kahlo painting shown in U.S. for first time in 35 years

Kahlo portrays herself in the painting wearing both pre-Columbian jewelry and a Catholic mantilla, a symbol of her bi-cultural background

PHOTO: Galería Ordovas.
English 03/11/2016 18:08 EFE New York City Actualizada 18:09
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Self Portrait by famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is shown publicly again after 35 years in the dark at the Ordovas Gallery in New York; the exhibit is free and runs through January 7.

Self Portrait, which Kahlo painted in 1940 as part of a painting commissioned by the U.S. American engineer Sigmund Firestone and is privately owned, hasn't been shown publicly in the U.S. since 1983. Kahlo lived in the U.S. for several years.

Pilar Ordovas, the exhibit's curator, explained that most of Kahlo's self-portraits are part of publicly-owned collections in Mexico, so seeing this particular painting will be a “unique occasion.”

The painting, in which Kahlo portrays herself wearing pre-Columbian jewelry and a Catholic mantilla as a symbol of her bi-cultural background, is evidence of her life-long desire to reinforce her identity through representations of her own life, which is something that characterizes most of her paintings.

The oil painting is shown at the exhibit alongside a photograph of her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera, whom she married twice and with whom she had a tumultuous relationship.

“Artists and Lovers,” which is the name of the exhibit, is a collection of the most relevant artistic unions from the mid-nineteenth century and consists of pieces by 11 famous couples.

In addition to Kahlo and Rivera, the exhibit features couples such as Jackson Pollock and Less Krasner, Yves Tanguy and Kay Sage, and Elaine and Willem de Kooning.

Ordovas said that this suggestive sample of work aims to show “the power of creative influence” that is born out of both romantic and friendly relationships.

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frida kahlo Diego Rivera
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