Back in 2007, I was laid up in bed with complications from a surgery. A really good friend brought me several movies to watch, to pass the time. She highly recommended that I watch the movie, “Frida,” starring Salma Hayek first, telling me I would absolutely fall in love with Frida Kahlo.
It turns out that my friend was indeed correct. I fell in love with Frida Kahlo. I will be the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about art….. but I do know what catches my eye, what moves me. Frida’s art does that and more.
Honestly, it’s not completely all about her art. It’s her character, her life, who she was that is also very magnetic to me. I have always been intrigued by and and drawn to women throughout history who were strong, independent and unique. Frida Kahlo is just such a woman. She had a very turblent life, both physically and emotionally, and her art represents those times in her life. Her work is mostly biographical. When someone had once dubbed her a surrealist, she laughed almost derisively and said, “I never paint dreams or nightmares… I only paint my own reality.”
Frida Kahlo was married to the famed Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera (another artist I admire), and was an active member of the Communist Party. She led a very full life for someone who died at the young age of 47, and there is speculation to this day as to whether her death was really a result of pulmonary emobolism. Some had thought that perhaps she had found a way to commit suicide. Her last words, found written in her diary were, “I hope the end is joyful, and I hope never to return.”
I was privileged enough to be able to view her work up close and personal when it was on display at the Walker Museum of Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a very emotional experience for me. It was as if her feelings at the time she painted each piece just reached right out to you. You could even see marks in the canvas where her emotions got the best of her and she struck the canvas with something or had stabbed at it. It was very remarkable to be so close to something she had created, something she had touched. I will never forget it. Here is a small picspam of some of my favorite paintings done by her.
If you would like to learn more about Frida Kahlo, there is a wonderful fan site dedicated to her here: http://www.fridakahlofans.com/
****Images have all been found via random Google Image search