Lucienne Bloch grew up surrounded by many of the great intellectuals and artists in the interwar period after her father emigrated to the United States in 1917. This might explain her lack of interest in fame and power. After all, Lucienne’s father, Ernest Bloch was a respected and renown Swiss composer. Despite her considerable artistic merit, she has principally been known as the confidante of Frida Kahlo as well as husband Diego Rivera. It has been through the expansive studies of Frida Kahlo mania that Lucienne’s life has received greater attention.
The relation between Kahlo and surrealism has been a recurring point of interest, one which touched on sexuality and feminism. Kahlo was studied by Andre Breton, in fact Breton completed his surrealist manifesto while a guest of Rivera and Kahlo in Mexico. Frida Kahlo often had graphic content, but it was never gratuitous; never fitting the manufactured mold of surrealism; her imagery was religious or medical, and, and univeral in its haunting evocations. It was an ingenuous depiction of her life and her dreamlife, that resonated with a mystery and spontaneity and Blochs photographs and intimacy with Kahlo allows us to peer into this unguarded zone. What Bloch confirms is that manufactured content is to be avoided like a terminal illness;whether a contrived “cutesy” sentimentalism that pop culture explores or the phony grotesquery of what passes as late figuration.
…In 1935 Frida Kahlo, found out that her husband, the famous Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera, was having an affair with her sister. In a fit of rage she chopped off her long black hair which Rivera loved, just to spite him. Along with her hair she shed her trademark Mexican frilly skirts for more masculine Western attire. Then she did what most women would do. She went to a friend for comfort….
…That friend was Lucienne Bloch, an artist and assistant to Rivera. Frida showed up at Bloch’s house with her newly shorn hair, picked up a Cinzano bottle and pointed at it playfully, as if to drown her sorrows. In that instant Bloch pulled out her camera and snapped a photo of Frida melancholic as always, but undefeated . According to Bloch: “The Cinzano bottle she holds, represents the unborn child she could never give him.” This is the Frida I love. The Frida who has become an icon to women all over.Read More:http://www.luciennebloch.com/pdfs/friendship.pdf
Filled with excitement at this opportunity, Lucienne reached out to shake the hand of the wife of Diego Rivera, an intriguing young woman now standing in front of her. This beautiful and exotic woman had dark eyebrows that met in the middle ‘like a bird in flight’. She was colorfully dressed in traditional Mexican costume, and as Lucienne reached enthusiastically to greet the compelling stranger, she was greeted back with the words, “I hate you!”…
…Frida Kahlo had been watching her husband and Lucienne in deep conversation all evening. But instead of shying away from the complex stranger, Lucienne was more fascinated than ever. To have this woman, this stranger, say something so absolutely real and not give a damn about the consequences, was refreshing. Lucienne was becoming more and more appalled by the decadence of the rich in the face of poverty that the rest of society was living in. Read More: