A flood of fake Fridas: snark o’ the week
Representatives of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Trust filed a criminal suit on Tuesday for the forgery of 1,200 Kahlo works of art that appear in two books recently published in Mexico and the United States.
“Most of them appear not to be by the artist, because connoisseurs of the artist’s works have said so,” attorney Jose Luis Perez Arredondo told reporters.
The complaint was filed at the Attorney General’s Office, where members of the press met with experts on the artist’s work and personnel of the Anahuacalli Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo museums.
Perez Arredondo said that the trust’s technical committee decided to file the complaint after hearing the opinion of several experts on the supposed work of Frida reproduced in the publications “Finding Frida Kahlo” and “El Laberinto de Frida: Muerte, Dolor y Ambivalencia” (Frida’s Labyrinth: Death, Pain and Ambivalence) containing illustrated letters, drawings and personal notes.
“We’re not making personal accusations nor are we judging conduct. That is the subject of the lawsuit,” the lawyer said.
At the end of last month, Mexican antique dealers Carlos Noloya and Leticia Fernandez presented the 1,200 works as authentic, while admitting that they were very different from other pictorial works left by the artist…
Kahlo’s works are — for reasons unfathomable to me — considered a national artistic monument (to Kitschitlacali, the God of Self-Indulgence?), and — if genuine — cannot be sold abroad. No problem. It’s easy enough to create fake Kahlos… just paint Kahlo’s face, toss in a few eccentric cultural reference… and gouge your eyes out…
(Trek Thunder Kelly, The Suicide of Frida Kahlo, 2004; acrylic on canvas; 72″ x 60)