Though often portrayed in scholarly literature as a spontaneous artist, Frida Kahlo worked in a quite deliberate manner, basing her paintings on diverse cultural and philosophical sources. Imaging Her Selves uncovers the unexplored visual and textual foundations of Kahlo's imagery, illustrating-through a detailed study of her diary, letters, library collection, and other material- the complex multilayered meanings of the many selves she comprised. In dozens of self-portraits, Kahlo examined the conventional and unconventional roles with which she attempted to identify. Ankori's work offers an invative interpretation of her art as a major contribution to the ongoing human quest for a fuller understanding of the meaning of self. Ackwledging her failure to conform to traditional female roles, such as that of wife and mother, Kahlo investigated alternative options. Her physical, metaphysical, social, and genealogical selves-including Lilith, La Llorona, La Malinche, the Crowned Nun, and the Hindu goddess Parvati- are all on display in her art. Transcending typical biographical inquiries, Ankori has created a broader study of the way in which Kahlo's art both reflected and refracted her multifaceted identity.
GANNIT ANKORI is a lecturer in the Department of Art History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has published extensively in the fields of Mexican, Palestinian, and Israeli art, as well as feminist cultural studies. Her articles have been printed in Hebrew, Arabic, French, German, and English.