The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Diego Rivera lays the groundwork for his article about Frida Kahlo by tracing a path through the history of the founding cultures of the Pre-Hispanic and Spanish periods and the nineteenth-century. In his opinion, Mexico’s social evolution can be clearly seen in past and present examples of its art. Rivera believes that Mexican artists began to emerge from their semi-colonial state and reclaim their independence in about 1921. The pseudo-artists that are still afflicted with endemic semi-colonialism can be divided into two groups: those who copy the poorest examples of bourgeois art, and those who supply the art galleries; that is, those who now copy Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and so on. Frida Kahlo appeared in the midst of all this, and painted scenes from her own life. Her paintings do not look like anything else, and are not like anything done by anyone else. Frida’s art is an individual collective expression.
This article is of great interest because it is one of the first critical reviews of the work of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). The researcher (and biographer of Kahlo) Hayden Herrera also quotes from an earlier article by Betty Ross published in Excélsior newspaper in October 1942, titled: “Como pinta Frida Kahlo, Esposa de Diego, las emociones íntimas de una mujer” [How Frida Kahlo, Wife of Diego, Paints a Woman’s Intimate Feelings]. Diego Rivera (1886-1957) writes a 16-page article which he illustrates with 4 of Frida’s paintings, and doesn’t get around to talking about her until page 14, when he analyzes her painting Las Dos Fridas [The Two Fridas], saying that one Frida comes from her German, rationalist father, and the other comes from her mother, the Indian. In Rivera’s opinion, Frida is the only person who tore out her breast and her heart to tell the biological truth about her feelings in each of her two selves.