Saturday, April 7, 2012

Frida Kahlo

Priti.Lisa's Inspiration Avenue challenge this week is

"Frida Fiesta"

It's been one of the most profound challenges for me.
I learned more about Frida than I ever knew before.
She was involved in a bus accident when she was eighteen,
and suffered many operations, some of which made her worse.
I was moved by the amount of pain she lived with her whole life.
And still made wonderful art until the end.

And doesn't it suck that she never knew
the acclaim while she was alive that her art enjoys now.
Today, her paintings bring more money than any other female artist.
During her life, her art was overshadowed by that of her husband,
Diego Rivera. Diego was some 20 years older than Frida,
and their marriage (well, both of them because they were
divorced and remarried) was filled with infidelity on both of their parts.

“There have been two great accidents in my life.
One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.”

I was enthralled by all of the photos that are available of Frida.
I loved this montage because of the still photos but especially
the video portions, which brought her to life for me.
In the videos, I get the sense that Diego loved her very much.
I think he was just a weak man who was incapable of fidelity.
Frida's infidelities I think may have been motivated by revenge.
I think she did love him too.

Some of her paintings have a surreal quality, and reflect the pain she
lived with constantly. At the invitation of French poet and founder of Surrealism
André Breton, she went to France in 1939 and was featured at an
exhibition of her paintings in Paris.  The Louvre bought one of her paintings,
The Frame, which was displayed at the exhibit.  This was the first work by
a 20th century Mexican artist ever purchased by the internationally
renowned museum.  AndrĂ© Breton wrote admiringly:

“The art of Frida Kahlo is like a ribbon around a bomb.”

These paintings are almost too hurtful to look at for me,
and I prefer her self portraits with animals and tropical plants.
I used her photos and those paintings as inspiration
for my challenge entry.

It isn't finished but I'm running out of time!
I want to work on the background, the stone statue,
and the right side of her face needs some tweaking.
If I have time before Sunday, I'll replace this with a new one,
if not, c'est la vie! I'll replace it eventually.

At the age of 47, Frida Kahlo died.
In one of her last journal entries, she wrote:

“I hope the exit is joyful. And I hope never to return.”

I guess she had had enough. It's a tragedy the we didn't get more of her.
I wish her life had been easier.


  1. I love your entry. Your painting is awesome. All of the history and quotes honor Frida properly. Her suffering and passion became visiable in her art.

  2. This is great Maggie I love the video too brings her more to life.
    Your painting is awesome

  3. You did a fantastic job, capturing who Frida was in all aspects. This piece needs no tweeking! Lovely.

  4. It's amazing how I used the first photo you showed in my collage this week, and you took this post SO much further. I learned a LOT about Frida this week and your post was the most informative one I've read so far. Then your painting is wonderful. You may think it's unfinished, but for someone who can't even draw a circle, this looks very true to life and painted in the same vein as Frida. What you made was simply incredible.

  5. This is a lovely heartfelt post that moved me more than when I did my own research - I think because I felt your emotions through this telling too. And your painting - WOW! I swear your skills sharpen with every painting. I love all the colour and that you allow her to be less sad and more reflective than in many representations of her. And I adore the monkeys that are sooo cute. It really is a wonderful painting. It looks perfectly finished to me but I know you have to feel its right and will know when its time to finish.
    Kat Xx

  6. Wow! Maggie this is unbelievably beautiful!
    I am happy you really got interested in Frida's life.
    You whole post is an incredible homage.

  7. Maggie, She is fantastic!! You did an excellent job on this. Brave girl!
    Hope you have a beautiful Easter!

  8. Maggie,
    Your Frida is beautiful! I enjoyed reading your comments about her as well as the quotes. She was truly an amazing woman.

  9. she is so thoughtful, love her beauty!!!
    thanks for the history too!

  10. Wonderful post and your painting is beautiful, you have captured the spirit of Frida! That video is awesome, thank you for sharing!

  11. She is fascinating--I know so little about her, I realize.


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