Here Kahlo wears a headdress from Tehuantepec, in the state of Oaxaca. The starched lace folds that encircle her face draw attention to a portrait of Diego centered on her forehead, but is his presence a burden or an inspiration for her?
Considering that Diego often suggested his wife dress in Tehuana attire to proclaim her mexicanidad, which held both cultural and political significance, the answer could be both. Further complicating matters are the delicate threads and tendrils that sprout from her headdress and floral crown, leaving us to wonder whether these emanations represent new growth spurred by Rivera’s presence or a decline in Kahlo’s energy.
The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art, The Vergel Foundation, Conaculta/INBA, © 2018 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York