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  • Kahlo
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars24
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 27 May 2012
This is a brilliant slim, easily portable book about Frida (not a coffee table tome!), which contains beautiful, high-quality glossy full-colour pictures on every page; not just her paintings but photos from her life and her amazing sketches too.

The written part, I found, contains enough detail and depth that as someone relatively new to Frida I learnt a LOT about her, without being a full-on academic text on her life. It covers her entire life and is great overall picture - it will probably inspire you to read a more detailed biography or her diaries.

Even if you're familiar with her biography, what is amazing and different about this book is that it discusses her art in great detail too - which when talking about an artist's life is very important! You see her artistic development and it explains the symbolism in her pictures and how they relate to her life.

For example, there's a full-page spread of 'What I Saw in the Water / What the Water Gave Me' (the picture of her feet in the bath, with all the surreal objects, people and skyscrapers floating in there too), which is annotated with pictures and notes showing what each part of the image came from - there are references in there to her other pictres, even a bird from a Hieronymus Bosch painting, and to see it visually represented like that is so interesting and you learn so much.

So, if you want not only a bigraphy but an exploration of her art too, this book is absolutely perfect.
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on 25 May 2013
It's hard to appreciate Frida Kahlo's paintings if you don't understand them and you can't understand them if you don't know about her life. As an introduction to the life, times and art of one of Mexico's most famous and controversial paintings, Andrea Kettenmann's book is a great place to start.

In this slim volume you'll find plenty of information about Kahlo's life, the physical pain that tortured her and inspired her work, her relationship with husband Diego Rivera and both their affairs with plenty of other people, her political activism and her friendships with many fascinating people. These details are not just fluff and filling because Kettermann uses them to explain the paintings which they inspired. I can think of few artists whose work is so intrinsically linked to their own life, their beliefs and their suffering.

Taschen art books almost always contain excellent reproductions of the artist's work and this volume is no exception. In total the book offers colour pictures of more than 70 of her works which probably add up to around half of the total body of her work. There are also many photographs and sketches and some examples of Diego's murals. The author clearly explains the different phases of Frida's artistic life and the evolution of her work from rather naive and simplistic portraits in her early days, through the shocking blood-spattered work of her painful years of miscarriages and medically enforced abortions, through her surreal almost Dali-esque phase and back to the rather more heavy handed, simplistic pictures of her final painful years. If I have to make one small gripe, it would be that the text and the photographs are often many pages apart so that a painting is being descibed long before it actually appears and you need to keep flicking back and forth between the text and the painting. It's not a big deal but it may annoy some readers.

Reading 'Frida Kahlo, Pain and Passion' set me up to look again at her photographs with more knowledge and to see her paintings with greater clarity. I am left wanting more and determined to track down a more in-depth biography than this slim volume of just 96 pages can provide but I recommend it highly as a beginners guide to the life and work of a remarkable woman.
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on 26 September 2009
This is an excellent book. With great Pictures. Tells the story of her life and gives an insight into the world of a free thinker. Fantastic price will make a lovely present. One could actually buy two one to keep and one to give away to an appreciative person.
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on 5 April 2001
Easy to read with just enough detail to give a taster of her unusual and magic approach to life and art. She triumphed over adversity, was before her time and is an inspiration to the untrained artist. You cannot help but want to reach for a paintbrush.
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on 21 June 2009
A good and well written book. Illustrations are good as well, even though the booksize is a bit on the small side to show the pictures in a good way.
Well worth reading.
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on 18 November 2014
Frida Kahlo has been an interest of mine since I was in school and studied her as part of my art course. She is such a fascinating woman and her work evokes such passion and feeling. If you are interested in learning more about her turbulent personal life, her involvement in politics and her art work, this is the book for you. Even if you have a good knowledge of her and her work, this book is so wonderfully detailed and laid out and even though I have been a huge fan of hers for years, I learned a lot. It provides a beautiful insight into her life. A perfect Sunday afternoon read. 100% recommended.
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on 18 November 2013
Very good book, well illustrated.an ideal book if you want to know all about Freda Kahlo"s life.I will be buying another as a present .
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on 2 January 2014
It is a really great book.The perfect gift for each and every Frida's fan.Really interesting photos of her and her family.
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2015
After watching the Bio-Pic "Frida" (2002), Director: Julie Taymor, based on the book "Frida : A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera, I decided it wad time to read more of this Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) who married Diego Rivera and was an artist in her own write.

This book, "Frida Kahlo 1907-1954: Pain and Passion" by Andrea Kettenmann, Is a great and informative introduction to Kahlo, her art and the person behind the art. Not to sound shallow but the color reproductions and the photos are worth the purchase price on their own. However knowing what they are trying to portray always ads that extra meaning.

No matter what book or movie you buy this is an added must to your library and a different look at the life and times of Freda.
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on 6 June 2016
Frida Kahlo is over-rated and her and her husband Diego Rivera are only really rated because of their socialism or communism (and because she's a woman and there aren't a glut of women who are big artists). The far left will give anything to those that follow the cause and especially to anyone who put Trotsky up. She's a lousy draughtswoman and her paintings don't come across well in my opinion. 'nuff said
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