Why don’t books and movies show us the interesting stuff? We would all read and enjoy art history even more. I’ve read a lot of things in my life about Frida Kahlo and they were interesting enough; but I didn’t know that she had lost a leg and had a vaginal accident at 18!!! I can’t believe what that woman went through!! I have never agreed with her politically, but in my youth I related to her delirious love with Diego Rivera. I loved her self expression, the suits and ties, the flowers, the red lips and of course her quick witted verbal assaults on anybody that pissed her off. In my late teens, I admired the passion between her and Diego, the fights, the breaking up, the reigniting of their flame during reconciliation…..but then I grew up. As I entered adulthood, It changed again and I began to admire her courage, confidence to be who she wanted to be, bedding whomever she pleased (In the 1920’s!!!), her fashion, and the way she lived freely in general. I admired her coy comments that delivered smoldering innuendo to naive interviewers. I found her fascinating without knowing that a freak accident at 18 involved a tram handrail penetrating her vagina, uterus, and back during a collision and later losing her right leg. She suffered her whole life from that tram accident. This knowledge has allowed me to see the pain in her art in a whole new light. When I view her paintings now, they make me feel empathy. I still am not a fan of a lot of them, but I can see the expression in them now and that is a gift I will gladly receive. Now, I can appreciate the darkness in some of those paintings. The art books in my childhood home only briefly mentioned severe back pain suffered her whole life and an inability to bear children. I am appalled it took me this long to find out about her real history. Admittedly, she is not one of my favorite artist, so I didn’t revisit her story too often. However, I am glad I took this time to reexamine her story. She is all the more remarkable. I applaud the courage she had to keep moving forward. What a woman.
“I was born a bitch…I was born a painter.”-Frida Kahlo
“I drank down my sorrows, but the damn things learned how to swim.” -Frida Kahlo
“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”
― Frida Kahlo
“I paint flowers so they will not die.”
― Frida Kahlo
“There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.”= Frida Kahlo