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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must-read for any fan!, 24 Nov 2001
This book is truly written from the heart. Hayden gives a detailed account of Frida's life with the passion and close examination it deserves. It includes good examinations of her works with excellent reproductions, but most importantly this book includes fabulous anecdotal detail.
When reading this biography, you feel swept along with the events recalled. It combines copies of her correspondence with friends and references to her diary, allowing the reader to get a first hand picture of Frida's personality. Do not be put off by the length, it is very readable and does not get caught up in obscure detail. The most defining aspect is that its focus is on Frida Kahlo in her own rite. This is one of the few books that does not write about her in the shadow of Diego Rivera. It is a great place to start for anyone interested in Frida, and a must-read for any fan of her work.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mexico's first lady of art sparkles with great technicolor!, 9 Jun 2003
By 
F. V. L. Buliciri (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo (Paperback)
This biography on the life of the great Mexican female artist Frida Kahlo is good. I appreciate a good painting but Herrera like a good writer so vividly brings the life of Ms Kahlo across to the reader so much so that after reading it I was struck by the beauty of the violent images in her paintings.
Frida Kahlo is Mexico! Her life is so remarkable and you are so intrigued by her in this book her turbulent life, the horrific teenage accident that was the catalyst for her becoming a painter, her stormy and passionate marriage to Diego Rivera, the inspirations for her paintings, her battle with health and her affairs with both men and women combine beautifully to create a biography that is so memorable. Out of all the biographies I've read on female celebrities this has to be one of my favourite ones of all time.Haydon Herrera had me mesmerised from the moment I turned the first page of this biography.Frida Kahlo too is one of my favourite artists now if I had a list of famous people I would invite to a dinner party I hosted Frida Kahlo would be a welcome guest at my table.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful biography, larger-than-life subject, 19 Nov 2004
By 
ILONACAT (WIRRAL, ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo (Paperback)
It must be difficult to write a biography of a myth, and that's what Frida Kahlo is, a larger-than-life figure who really was a legend in her own lifetime. It's all here-her childhood, her school life and friendships, the terrible accident, her politics, her complex relationship with Diego Rivera,her relationships with other men and with women and, yes, the paintings. Some of which are reproduced here in colour.The author is clearly an admirer of Kahlo but never falls into the hagiographic trap. An intelligently-written and passionately-felt biography. If you know Kahlo's paintings, this book will enhance your appreciation of them. If you don't know them, your curiosity will be aroused.
I love this book. And am going to recommend it to various friends.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frida Kahlo - an engaging study of Mexico's premier artist., 5 Jun 2003
By 
F. V. L. Buliciri (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo (Paperback)
Hayden Herrera 's biography on Frida Kahlo is excellent. The author provides a perfect insight into the world of Frida Kahlo. I was never into abstract paintings certainly those of a violent nature such as hers until I read this biography. The pictures of Kahlo's masterpieces are very well set out in this book and provide a colourful accompaniment to the story of her turbulent life and it's up and downs. The story of her life, her stormy marriage to Diego Rivera and the development of modern day Mexico all combine wonderfully in this biography about one of Mexico's famous sisters. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about the magic of Mexico and this story will certainly awaken the minds of anyone who necessarily isn't keen on art but who will walk away with an idea of the great contribution that Frida Kahlo made to the art world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo, 26 April 2010
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo (Paperback)
`Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo' is the book the excellent film was based upon and if you have seen the film and enjoyed it, you can see where the poetry and detail comes from when you read this. This book explores Frida's life and art and whilst this is a biography of her life, it also doubles a critique of some of her art as well. Various pieces are explored and analysed in great depth and put into context with her life and when she created them. This has lots of her early love letters, as well as letters she wrote throughout her life and these give you a real feel for her own unique voice. This also has excellent sections which show her artwork and photos from her life (two sections of which are black and white and two of which are in colour). There are extensive notes and as such this book could be used for academic study, but it is so rich and engaging that you can almost enjoy this as a novel of an original, inspiring and fiercely independent woman. Frida has often been overshadowed by her famous husband, but fortunately here she takes centre stage and you can see her for all her faults, as well as her humour, grace, intelligence and beauty. If you enjoy well written biographies and wish to learn more about this unique and inspirational woman then this is the place to start.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo Y Calderón, 28 May 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo (Paperback)
The are many good books on the market that show some of Frida's best work and many that have a good overview of her life as the daughter of Wilhelm Kahlo and the "on and off wife" of the famous mural painter Diego Rivera.

What sets this book out from the multitude is the attention to detail. There are actual correspondences from and to Frida. In addition, many things that may be glossed over are covered well enough that you feel you were there.

I originally saw the movie based on this book "Frida" (2002) with Salma Hayek. Many of the references in the movie were not covered even in the extensive commentaries. The book also has the time to cover the background of Frida's parents, grandparents, her friends and their relatives. We know about her trolley accident but not that much about her bout with polio.

The plates, some in color others of monochrome photos are placed on groups but referenced throughout the book. Agree the descriptions they can be appreciated for not only themselves but also what they meant to Frida and her friends. We also get a small glimpse of Mexico before and after the revolution.

Frida
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5.0 out of 5 stars for every Frida fan., 3 Feb 2013
Everything you want to know about Frida, from her birth, her influences, her marriage to Diego to her death.
Couldnt ask for more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A First-Rate Biography, 17 Feb 2012
By 
Kate Hopkins (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo (Paperback)
A wonderful biography of one of the 20th century's leading women artists, admired by many of her distinguished contemporaries (including Picasso, Andre Breton and Trotsky). Frida Kahlo was a woman of great courage. After a nasty bout of polio as a small child, she forced herself to walk and remain active, though one leg was always weaker than the other. As a teenager she was nearly killed in an appalling bus accident which put pay to her dreams of becoming a doctor. Indomitable, she forced herself to learn to walk again and studied painting. She sought advice from one of the greatest of Mexican artists, Diego Rivera, who fell in love with her - their marriage (which included a divorce and a re-marriage) was long, passionate, stormy, with many infidelities but also for both of them the most important relationship in their lives. Despite her physical infirmity, which increased as she grew older, and her periods of depression, Kahlo travelled widely, winning friends wherever she went. Her lovers included several artists and photographers and, briefly, Leon Trotsky - she was also openly bisexual at a time when this was not particularly accepted. She embraced both European culture (though she was apparently not very interested in classical music) and the folklore and culture of her native Mexico. Even in her final illnesses, she took care to dress exquisitely in beautiful embroidered Mexican dresses, and she kept painting almost up to the end. Hayden Herrera tells Frida's story beautifully, quoting from many who knew and loved her, and bringing her, her family (including her gentle but slightly taciturn German father, her sweet but matriarchal mother and favourite sister Cristina), her husband Diego and her friends wonderfully to life. Diego is particularly finely captured in all his larger-than-life splendour; a man who clearly could be a menace but was also a wonderful force for joy in life, and highly intelligent. There is also much very interesting information about her art, and why Frida painted the subjects she did, and some handsome colour reproductions of her pictures. The atmosphere of 20th century Mexico is vividly brought to life. All in all a superb book - definitely read it as well as seeing the film with Salma Hayek which is good but not nearly as vivid or complex.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good and deep analysis of Frida Kahlos life, 20 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo (Paperback)
This book is a very good purchase if you are interested in knowing the artist's life in details. It presents to the reader a deep analysis of Fridas personality, feelings and her surroundings. It also presents Fridas letters to friends, lovers, doctors etc. If you like a text that goes deep, it is a perfect choice. If you prefer something more shallow, I don't recommend.

In my personal experience, I liked the book very much, mainly because it gave the sensation that as pages advanced I was getting to know more about Frida, almost as I know a person of my own time with whom I deal with in a day to day bases. I think that in this sense, the book acomplishes something important: to show the human being full of conflicts behind the famous artist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary artist, 7 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo (Paperback)
I am not an officianado - either in Art or Artistis - but I love Frida Kahlo's work which I first saw at the Tate Modern some years ago. Recently some of her work was displayed in Chichester and I bought this book as a follow on. It's given me some insight into her work and her interesting and difficult life The writing isn't too pretencious and is full of anecdotes and famous names to help put the era in context. It's a good complement to the film made in 2002 (?) which had an Oscar nomination. I don't remember it doing the circuit (and I go to arts cinema) - it would be lovely to see it on the Big Screen.
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Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo
Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera (Paperback - 3 Mar 2003)
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