Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thinking About Frida Kahlo Today...

I’ve been thinking about Frida Kahlo a lot lately.  When I think of strong women she is one of the first that come to my mind.  Everyone’s got a quick opinion about Frida.  A lot of people are put off by the surrealistic and gruesome folk art she produced; it’s not exactly living room art – but who aspires to that?  Certainly her work is a feminist statement on the unflinching depiction of the female form and experience, especially her own experience. Some question her politics – she was very active in the communist party in Mexico during the 50’s.  It’s difficult for me to judge someone on their politics when I did not grow up in their country during their time and experience what was happening within their society, so I leave that alone.  Of course there is the uni-brow, God; I love that uni-brow! That is a true statement that says “I am who I am right now in front of you take it or leave it!”  Frida has always been a MAJOR fashion icon to me.  I can stare at photographs of her endlessly.  The color, the hair, the flowers, dress, shawl, jewelry she had it all going on perfectly – seamlessly all at once.  Very few women can or should ever attempt to carry off what was so effortless for Frida.  It may have been the only thing that was effortless for her.
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."

Some of my favorite Frida quotes:

When asked why she painted so many self portraits:
"Because I am so often alone....because I am the subject I know best." “I was born a bitch, I was born a painter.”
On living her life crippled:
"I suffered two grave accidents in my life…One in which a streetcar knocked me down and the other was Diego."
It is said that on the day after her death, mourners gathered at the crematorium to witness her cremation.  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 last diary entry read: "I hope the end is joyful - and I hope never to return - Frida.”
Some people don’t “get” Frida Kahlo; I absolutely get her and love her from her wild emotional gut wrenching art to her wonderful fashion sense and of course that uni-brow!

My thoughts today,

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