Book Review: What Would Frida Do? By Arianna Davis

I received this book for free to review from NetGalley. On NetGalley, I have rated the book 4 stars.

As an avid Frida Kahlo fan, I first became aware of her work during my first semester of college, where I was asked to write a paper on an artist and their impact on history as part of a humanities course. Her work, political activism, views, and fashion sense has been an inspiration to many, and I draw inspiration in particular from her strength as a person through hardship.

Davis’s work, a short book that breaks down Kahlo’s life, with sections outlining some of the philosophies Kahlo may have followed, if not having personally articulated. Davis’s book outlines Kahlo’s political views, her relationship with Diego Rivera, her physical and emotional pain that she handled through her life, and much more. While I had much of this knowledge on my own due to having studied Kahlo and her work, this was a good primer for anyone new to Kahlo’s work and life.

However, what felt like it was missing from this book were prints and pictures of Kahlo’s art. So many times, the book references her work, but there isn’t an accompanying picture to help illustrate what the author was saying. Maybe this was a decision made because sourcing and printing the art in the book would have required some level of licensing, but honestly, I would pay more for a book printed on glossy paper with her art attached if it meant a more rich reading experience.

If you are curious about Kahlo and don’t mind googling her art mid-read to understand the authors implication further, I would say this book is perfect for anyone who loves art, feminism, mid-20th century history, or political intersections of all three.

Hope you are having a lovely week!

-M

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