With so many art shows and fairs around Dallas this past weekend, I was sulking that I was not able to make it to any and was in baseball mom mode. I was browsing some art websites on my phone while waiting for the games to begin and came across a name that intrigued me – Frida Kahlo, for everyone that knows who this is I apologize for my ignorance, please proceed to you scheduled blog feeds. For the others hang with me as we see who Frida Kahlo is and what today’s woman can learn from Frida Kahlo!
Frida Kahlo (born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican painter. She painted using vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico and European influences including Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. Many of her works are self-portraits that symbolically articulate her own pain. Kahlo was married to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Her painting fetch more money than any other female artist, A 1929 self-portrait sold for more than $5 million!
In today’s world women nip and tuck their accents, plump up their lips, add fake lashes and so many layers to their faces that they forget their true self. It is so uplifting and liberating to see a woman who embraced her unibrow and mustache. With slim sable brushes, she painted them on every single portrait of hers with unbashed candor. About a third of her work – 55 paintings are self-portraits. She challenged gendered and old-fashioned perceptions of beauty and femininity. Frida always looked straight at the viewer, confronting the audience with serene and confident boldness. She suffered a polio attack when she was 6 years old and an accident where a streetcar ran over her at age 18. She had numerous surgeries and was in plaster corsets to support her damaged spine but she did not damage her lust for life. She loved dancing, crowds, seduction and flirting. She had a ferocious sense of humor, she adored children, loved gossip and dirty jokes. Above all, she valued honesty especially to self!
Frida was married to Diego Rivera 20 years her senior, a celebrated Muralist, she loved cooking for him and fussing over him. But their marriage was not perfect, it was stormy, passionate and with pressures of careers, remarriage, infidelities, poor health. Diego’s infidelities was a source of great pain for her, she paints her heartbreak and gut-wrenching pain of abortion and miscarriage.
I suffered two grave accidents in my life…One in which a streetcar knocked me down and the other was Diego.Frida Kahlo
She painted Diego and I when rumors about Diego’s affair with a film actress was circulating and The Two Fridas a double portrait painted in 1939 at the time of her divorce from Diego.
In Frida’s painting, Roots, 1943, Frida stated her faith that all life can join in a single flow. In this painting, Frida is depicted as her torso opens up like a window and gives birth to a vine. It’s her dream of being able to give birth as a childless woman. Frida’s blood circulates the vine and reach beyond the leaves’ veins and feed the parched earth. She is dreaming to be a tree of life with her elbow supporting her head on a pillow.
Let’s look at some of her portraits here to empower ourselves and learn from her take me as I am attitude. Let us embrace her alegria, – a lust for life! My favorite painting is The Little deer, to me it portrays her view of life – innocent and organic as the sweet deer, poised and proud suffering through the different health setbacks pictured as the arrows piercing in various places, bleeding but still brave to overcome the obstacles in front of her depicted as the fallen branch.
They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own realityFrida Kahlo
I would love to go see some of her artworks in person, most of which seem to be private collections or located in the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, if you know of any in the US drop me a comment. And let me know how Frida Kahlo’s work has affected you and inspired you!
Until Next time, Love