Thursday, February 21, 2008

For the Love of Frida

Frida Kahlo with her parrots (self portrait)

I don’t know why I never really knew of Frida Kahlo until seeing the 2002 movie Frida starring Salma Hayek. I have always loved the painting of Diego Rivera, but never knew of his artist lover & wife until seeing the movie.

I can’t wait to get some free time to wander down to Philadelphia and take in the exhibit of her art work, photo’s and writings. In many ways I relate to her in that she suffered for an institution and art form which she loved.

Having survived polio, she did not move around as easily as most of us, yet she lived her life with a passion, zeal and purpose that is at once remarkable and inspiring. She was the “real deal” and did not shrink away from the tough stuff of life, but embraced it and lived through it with grace and love.

Would that we all would imitate her love and passion for life and for those who life is not so kind to. Anyone who could date Trotsky and marry Diego Rivera has to be a special and remarkable woman!

Frida with self portrait of Diego Rivera

Frida felt both love and pain at a deep existential level which found its way into her art and passions. Loving Rivera so that she is smaller and more rustically girly in her wedding portrait and depicting herself in male attire and with a short cut hair style after their divorce, she felt deeply all the passions of being human---both good and not-so-good.

Portrait of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo

“Eleven days before dying from a pulmonary embolism or a suicidal overdose, Kahlo sat in a wheelchair during a protest against the CIA overthrow of Guatemala’s president. In her last finished work, a still life, she painted her epitaph. She carved “Viva La Vida (Long Live Life)” on a watermelon tombstone.”1

Viva Frida Kahlo!

1 Geoff Gehlman. The Allentown Morning Call


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