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The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  38,628 ratings  ·  452 reviews
Published here in its entirety, Frida Kahlo's amazing illustrated journal documents the last ten years of her turbulent life. This passionate, often surprising, intimate record, kept under lock and key for some forty years in Mexico, reveals many new dimensions in the complex persona of this remarkable Mexican artist.

Covering the years 1944-45, the 170-page journal contain
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published August 9th 2005 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1995)
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Sudip Tembhurne In his moving presentation, Mexican faultfinder/writer/artist Fuentes relates Kahlo's pictures of agony, misfortune, mutilation and amazing quality t…more In his moving presentation, Mexican faultfinder/writer/artist Fuentes relates Kahlo's pictures of agony, misfortune, mutilation and amazing quality to Mexico's noteworthy cycles of upheaval and response.

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
i took my time with frida's diary:
one. because the emotion she reached inside of me
felt raw and sometimes heavy
two. because i didn't want to come to its finish.

i'm slightly obsessed (proudly) with this woman
and find myself moved in ways that enrich my soul
every time i spend time with frida.

her love for life
her passion for love and connection
her desires for both the men and women
in her life
strike me in such a familiar way
that guide me in embracing my true nature.

her vulnerability created passi
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mexico
Both the Introduction by Carlos Fuentes and Essay by Sarah M. Lowe that preface the diary entries are impressive. Frida Kahlo suffered much though her life - stricken by polio at seven, a bus accident where she broke her pelvis bone, spinal column, and had other serious injuries at 18 years old, over 20 operations, the affairs and divorce (then remarriage) of Diego Rivera, her inability to have children because of her injuries, and the eventual amputation of her leg. However, she loved life, pai ...more
If you're about to read this expecting a traditional 'what I did today' -diary, you're in for a big surprise. Then again, if you already know Frida Kahlo you wouldn't really expect that, would you? Originally not intended to be published, through Kahlo's diary you get inside her head in the form of letters, notes, automatic writing and sketches. So much so, that you feel a bit rude for invading her thoughts. I don't claim to understand automatic writing, and even though Frida isn't a Surrealist, ...more
Nov 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
I really didn't enjoy this book. I thought it was going to be a basic translated version of Frida Kahlo's diary with a brief introduction of some kind about her and her life, It isn't. This book begins with a long larbourious introduction which, I felt, at times strays completely from Kahlo and can be very hard to follow. And then there is a full essay on the contents and format of Kahlo's diary. So before you get to view any of her work or her thoughts you've already been pounded with what two ...more
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a facsimile of Frida Kahlo's diary, so of course it is awesome. 4 instead of 5 stars for bad layout decisions. I can kind of understand why, for example, all of the translation is at the end of the book, so as not to interrupt the flow of the diary itself, but it could have been done more elegantly so that it's not so hard to find the translation of the page you're looking at. A better option might have been to have all the commentary and translation in a separate volume, and/or make som ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
"ALAS ROTAS" (p.156) ...more
Jun 21, 2009 added it
in prep for my trip to Casa Azul....and because Frida is...Frida.
Alana Klinka
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Frida Kahlo's diary is worth the read. It contains sketches that thematically connect to her paintings that are far more well know, however the texture and raw quality is quite different. You see her process and even for an artist who was so revealing in her work, there is more to see here! Reading this diary in the context of todays art world, where a sketch can be considered fine art, shows how timeless and relevant her work is. ...more
Mar 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. The haunting images alone are worth it (It's Kahlo, for god's sake!) and there's an English language translation of the text included. ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality." ...more
Elizabeth A
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, art, 2019
I have conflicted feelings about this one. Frida Kahlo kept a illustrated diary for the last ten years of her life. She also kept it locked up and private. Yet, here it is in the hands of the public - people she didn't even know. Is that not an invasion of privacy? And yet, I'm so glad this exists and is available for us to flip through. Like I said, I'm conflicted about this one.

What I am not conflicted about is how lovely this book is. The production, color, and paper quality are all superb. M
Reading this is a little awkward, one has to have the book open in two places, with a finger between the pages, and maybe I should rate the diary for things like this -- the format, the commentary, and the like, but really, it seems a little ridiculous to me to rate this translation of Frida's thoughts and descriptions of her drawings, even if not quite as ridiculous as rating the diary itself would be. Sure, the work done here must be either great or poor-quality, but to me, this insight was so ...more
Robin Bonne
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The artwork and her loopy, free, slightly messy handwriting makes this book truly inspiring.
Essays and commentary are included with the translations.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 4000-books
Although she begins this diary at the age of 37-ish,
(the first date of entry is not clear) ~
it seems that because of everything that has suddenly happened physically
& emotionally to her, that now ~~she will document things.
And, of course, Frida will journal in her own artistic way.
Some may find it difficult to read, because of the language barrier,
because of her honesty in her pain & rage & beeeecause the love that did not die &
because we see & feel the sadness that this love wrought upon h
The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait is a fascinating, sad, sober, amazing look into the mind of Frida Kahlo. The introduction by Carlos Fuentes is a poetic overview of her life, written possibly more for artists or students of art than the general reader. Even so, I recommend reading it.

The bulk of this very heavy hardcover book are color photographs/reproduction of Kahlo’s diary. Most of the entries are not dated and her entries are sporadic. The last 40 pages or so are the Engl
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There are no words to describe how important this book is to me. I regularly visit the pages of Frida Kahlo's diary for inspiration and deeper insight into my own life and perspective of the world. Some pages are heartbreaking and some are joyous, but it is all TRUE and that's the biggest teaching, here. I also learned to embrace the bleeding through of pages, when working in journals. "Messy" is inspiring and beautiful! ...more
Sleeping with Ghosts
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I don't know why, but Frida didn't attracted me too enough as an artist. I'd prefer Diego Rivera's work. ...more
Robin Tobin (On the back porch reading)
Raw, Passionate, Alive through every emotion she had... And I confess, though you didn’t hear it from me, Oh wait, Yes you just did.... I have a girl crush on this amazing spit fire of a woman... What an amazing one-of-a-kind, over the top colorful soul... Frida’s authenticity to just be and feel herself as she lived life in the raw makes my jaw drop in Awe.....
Ivan Svoboda
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Surely many of you watched the American movie about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, played by Penelope Cruz and Alfred Molina. Croatian writer Slavenka Drakulic recently also wrote one documentary novel about famous Mexican painter called: "Frida Kahlo or about pain". As you can see, the pain and suffering of that great artist after traffic accident and high artistic fruits of her struggle for life, through so many hospital operations, serves as inspiration for many writers.
After so many others t
M. Jane Colette
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book and will continue to devour it for years to come. The introduction by Carlos Fuentes is challenging but worth putting in the effort to read twice-thrice to really understand it. The faithful reproductions of the pages from Kahlo's diary--an art journal before there was such a trend!--through to bled-through inks and coffee stains are PHENOMENAL. The back end of the book contains translations of the pages--which is a great aid for non-Spanish readers--and contextualizations, ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
**4.5 stars**

I'm not going to write a full review on this, as it is a non-fiction text and I want to respect the artist and her feelings. However, I *freaking* loved this book and am so proud to have it in my collection.

I knocked it down half a star because I personally felt there was too much outside commentary and not enough was left to speak for itself.

Still, SUCH a good book and would highly recommend to anyone!
Theresa Leone Davidson
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my second time reading this in two years but after recently reading a wonderful biography of Kahlo by author Celia S. Stahr, I enjoyed going back through this, comparing Kahlo's own words to that of the biography. For the record, reading this was as good the second time as it was the first, and this was my review from the first time I read it: This is Frida Kahlo's journal, complete with illustrations. Terrific book - highly recommend! ...more
Melissa Hernandez
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
It only shows the later years of her death, and you can see in her writing that her health is beginning to fail. You get some of her art that isn't out for public viewing (museums, etc.), which is pretty cool. It was a lot at times, and I had to put it away for a bit. I enjoyed the analysis at the end. Helped when I couldn't make out a few things. ...more
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oh, MAN, what is not to love about Frida Kahlo's crazy life and art? Her diaries are gorgeous, startling, maddening, lyrical, lusty, full of pain and deep joy. Whenever I feel confined, I open these diaries and feell....freer to keep going as an artist. ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Content was absolutely worthy of five stars but the formatting of this collection was difficult to follow. I wish they had done side by side translations throughout the journal rather than miniature translations at the back of the book.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
frida’s diary is incredible. her use of colors and the tales she tells are captivating. her life was incredibly hard and i think her love for diego rivera made everything worse. the analysis made by sarah is good and accurate. fuentes’ introduction is AMAZING. love that man. overall a good book.
Dec 15, 2019 added it
Shelves: 2019-nonfiction
Intimate, raw and almost impossible to review or rate.
Cátia Vieira
Not only is Frida Kahlo considered to be one of the most renowned artists of the twentieth century, she is also recognized for her own biography which was affected by illness, pain, passion, uncertainty and death. The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portait, published in 2014, covers the years 1944-45 and masterfully intertwines the artistic dimension and the text entries.

First of all, this is a diary. This is more than a book destined to people who loves reading. This is for people who l
Suzanne Mot
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a nice insight into the life of Frida...not only did I get to see some of her drawing/doodle style, but I got to actually feel what she was feeling when she wrote her journal. The use of simple words, sometimes with no actual sentences, were powerful enough on their own. The subjects vary from very personal points of her life to very abstract ideas. She shows a lot of her affection for communism and, of course, for Diego Rivera, but I also had the pleasure of enjoying some Mexican culture w ...more
Evyn Autumn
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So I mostly bought this book because I’ve always been genuinely fascinated with Frida’s life story and her art of course. I am not very fluent in Spanish (but I do have a parent who is) so I was able to read some of her diary entries. Apart from the fact that I can’t read Spanish well, her art alone speaks for itself and was quite moving. I got chills from some of the art in her entries. When I look at the pages in the book, I feel like I am lost in Frida’s world and I love it. I really took my ...more
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Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo Calderón was a Mexican painter, who has achieved great international popularity. She painted using vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of México as well as by European influences that include Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. Many of her works are self-portraits that symbolically express her own pain and sexuality.

In 1929 Kahlo marrie

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