A daily dose of creative suspense.

Frida is painting

She is finally done- the magnificent Frida! She is sculpted with movable arms which hold a palette of paint in one hand and a hand-made brush in the other. She is wearing a white slip underneath a full brightly colored skirt. Her blouse is stretch black with tiny embroidered roses. I mad everything by hand including her bamboo easel. I painted her little painting. I love her! Now I just have to figure out how much to charge and I will be putting her up for sale on Etsy.

Presenting Frida, the painter.

Frida quotes (you know how much I love quotes and she said some cool one)s:

described Kahlo herself as a “ribbon around a bomb”.
“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”
 “I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.”

“I suffered two grave accidents in my life…One in which a streetcar knocked me down and the other was Diego.”
Once when asked what to do with her body when she dies, Frida replied: Burn it…I don’t want to be buried. I have spent too much time lying down…Just burn it!”
Her last diary entry read: I hope the end is joyful – and I hope never to return – Frida.”.
“I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”
“I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint.”

“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly” 

Who was Frida~ you say?

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán.  Perhaps best known for her self-portraits, Kahlo’s work is remembered for its “pain and passion”, and its intense, vibrant colors. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

FRIDA’S BIRTH & CHILDHOOD

July 6, 1907 Frida was one of four daughters born to a Hungarian-Jewish father and a mother of Spanish and Mexican Indian descent. She did not originally plan to become an artist.
A survivor of polio, she entered a pre-med program in Mexico City.

FRIDA’S HORRIBLE ACCIDENT

On September 17, 1925, at age 18,Frida  was riding in a bus when the vehicle collided with a trolley car. She suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident.

  • a broken spinal column,
  • a broken collarbone,
  • broken ribs,
  • a broken pelvis,
  • eleven fractures in her right leg,
  • a crushed and dislocated right foot,
  • a dislocated shoulder.
  • an iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus, which seriously damaged her reproductive ability.

The accident left her in a great deal of pain while she spent three months recovering in a full body cast. Although she recovered from her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, she had relapses of extreme pain for the remainder of her life. The pain was intense and often left her confined to a hospital or bedridden for months at a time. She had as many as thirty-five operations as a result of the accident, mainly on her back, her right leg, and her right foot. The injuries also prevented Kahlo from having a child because of the medical complications and permanent damage. All three pregnancies had to be terminated

During her convalescence she began to paint. Her mother had a special easel made for her so she could paint in bed, and her father lent her his box of oil paints and some brushes.

FRIDA’S HEALTH

1913~At the age of six, Frida developed polio, which caused her right leg to appear much thinner than the other. It was to remain that way permanently.

FRIDA’S ART

Her paintings, mostly self-portraits and still life, were deliberately naïve, and filled with the colors and forms of Mexican folk art.During her lifetime, Frida created some 200 paintings, drawings and sketches related to her experiences in life, physical and emotional pain and her turbulent relationship with Diego. She produced 143 paintings, 55 of which are self-portraits.

In 1953, when Frida Kahlo had her first solo exhibition in Mexico (the only one held in her native country during her lifetime), a local critic wrote:

It is impossible to separate the life and work of this extraordinary person. Her paintings are her biography.”

She  was influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is apparent in her use of bright colors and dramatic symbolism. She frequently included the symbolic monkey. In Mexican mythology, monkeys are symbols of lust, but Frida portrayed them as tender and protective symbols. Christian and Jewish themes often are depicted by her work

This observation serves to explain why her work is so different from that of her contemporaries. At the time of her exhibition opening, Frida’s health was such that her Doctor told her that she was not to leave her bed. She insisted that she was going to attend her opening, and, in Frida style, she did. She arrived in an ambulance and her bed in the back of a truck. She was placed in her bed and four men carried her in to the waiting guests.

Today, more than half a century after her death, her paintings fetch more money than any other female artist. A visit to theMuseo Frida Kahlo is like taking a step back in time. All of her personal effects are displayed throughout the house and everything seems to be just as she left it. One gets the feeling that she still lives there but has just briefly stepped out to allow you to tour her private sanctuary. She is gone now but her legacy will live on forever….

FRIDA’S LOVE & MARRIAGE

At 22 she married the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, 20 years her senior. Their stormy, passionate relationship survived infidelities, the pressures of careers, divorce, remarriage, Frida’s bi-sexual affairs, her poor health and her inability to have children. The streetcar accident left her crippled physically and Rivera crippled her emotionally.


FRIDA’S POLITICS

Both Frida and Diego were very active in the Communist Party in Mexico. In early July 1954, Frida made her last public appearance, when she participated in a Communist street demonstration.

FRIDA’S DEATH

Soon after, on July 13th, 1954, at the age of 47, Frida passed away. The official cause of death was given as a pulmonary embolism, although some suspected that she died from an overdose that may or may not have been accidental.An autopsy was never performed. She had been very ill throughout the previous year and her right leg had been amputated at the knee, owing to gangrene. She had a bout of bronchopneumonia about that time, which had left her quite frail.

In his autobiography, Diego Rivera would write that the day Kahlo died was the most tragic day of his life, adding that, too late, he had realized that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her.

On the day after her death, mourners gathered at the crematorium to witness the cremation of Mexico’s greatest and most shocking painter. Soon to be an international icon, Frida Kahlo knew how to give her fans one last unforgettable goodbye. As the cries of her admirers filled the room, the sudden blast of heat from the open incinerator doors caused her body to bolt upright. Her hair, now on fire from the flames, blazed around her head like a halo. Frida’s lips seemed to break into a seductive grin just as the doors closed.

Her ashes were placed in a pre-Columbian urn which is on display in the “Blue House” that she shared with Rivera. One year after her death, Rivera gave the house to the Mexican government to become a museum. Diego Rivera died in 1957. On July 12th, 1958, the “Blue House” was officially opened as the “Museo Frida Kahlo”.

Frida has been described as: “…one of history’s grand divas…a tequila-slamming, dirty joke-telling smoker, bi-sexual that hobbled about her bohemian barrio in lavish indigenous dress and threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda, Nelson Rockefeller, and her on-again, off-again husband, muralist Diego Rivera.

 

Frida, self portrait 1940 oil

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