Frida Kahlo. Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair. 1940
People often focus on the story of Frida Kahlo cutting off her hair as an act of mourning after divorcing Diego Rivera in this work. But I see her as someone who embraced gender ambiguity and mixed identity. She wore a man’s suit in a family portrait in 1926, documented love affairs with both women and men throughout her life, and accentuated her grown eyebrows and facial hair in her self-portraits. In this painting she rocks an oversized suit, earrings, and a commanding gaze as she sets herself free from social expectations of feminine beauty.
–Hillary Reeves, Development Associate, Foundation Relations, Department of Institutional Giving