Her face is stern, as it is so often in her self-portraits. She stares out, inscrutable, from a merengue of lace that dwarfs her tiny head. You likely know who she is, of course. The unibrow. The hairline as definite as a border checkpoint. And in this image, the small portrait of her husband, Diego Rivera, on her forehead. She called it Diego on My Mind (Self-Portrait as a Tehuana) (1943).
Over the years, Frida Kahlo has evolved into a name and face recognized by lovers of art, as well as art avoiders. Her image fuels sales of magnets, posters, and canvas bags, coffee cups, scarves, socks, calendars, jewelry, and a lot more in museum shops and trinket spots all over the United States, and possibly the world. For many, it’s her life story that’s made her compelling — imagery that transformed this complicated woman into an icon of