Arts & Culture

Faces of Frida: a digital retrospective on Google Arts & Culture

I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and all of the nights that I am away from you. Frida Kahlo

Hair swept up, the signature eyebrows, and underneath them, her gaze: By documenting her own image and life, Frida Kahlo created an icon, as relevant today as during her own lifetime. Though self-portraits may be how most people first encounter Kahlo, the woman they portray is revered for much more than her art. The complexity of her thinking on feminism and politics, her body and her country, remains fresh. In these contexts, her universally recognizable face takes on many possible interpretations.

For years, Google Arts & Culture has been working in partnership with a network of museums and experts from all over the world to bring the many facets of Kahlo’s legacy together in one place. The result is Faces of Frida, online today and available for everyone to see. It is the largest collection of artworks and artifacts related to Frida Kahlo ever compiled.

The collection showcases some of her most celebrated work, while also shining a light on many artworks and artifacts that are rarely found on public display. These include several pieces from private collections that have never been available online, like “View of New York,” drawn as Kahlo gazed out the window of the Barbizon Plaza Hotel in 1932.

Visitors will also find early versions of several of Kahlo’s finest works, some of which are sketched on the back of finished paintings and as a result have mostly been hidden from the world, like the Sketch for Self-Portrait with Airplane.

The project brings together 33 partner museums from seven countries, over 800 artifacts, 20 ultra-high resolution images created using Art Camera, and five Street View tours of the places that made an impact on her career, including the “Blue House” where Kahlo was born, lived, and took her final breath. Thanks to an enhanced Street View experience, you can now take in the highlights on display at Frida Kahlo Museum or the "I Paint Myself" exhibition from your computer or phone—just tap on any artwork at the bottom of the screen to see how it looks on the wall and click through to learn about the artworks.

In addition to artworks, the collection also features hundreds of personal photographs, letters, journals, clothes—and even an original piece of art, created by one of the many young artists Kahlo continues to inspire. Guided by Kahlo’s great-niece, photographer Cristina Kahlo, artist Alexa Meade transformed Mexican musician Ely Guerra into a piece of “living art,” created specially for “Faces of Frida.”

Google Arts & Culture is free for everyone. We hope Frida Kahlo’s art inspires you, as it inspires creators to this day. Visit g.co/facesoffrida or download the app on either iOS or Android to learn more about the many faces of Frida.