Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday "mie"-ography

This is Frida. She was an amazing artist. Wanna see her art? Go and visit my tag team buddy, Bubblewench.

Born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon on July 6, 1907 at her parents house on the outskirts of Mexico City, she was the daughter of a German immigrant to Mexico and his Mexican wife. They never had a happy marriage. Despite that, Frida was the third of the four daughters they would have together.
She contracted polio at age six, and it left her left her right leg thinner than her left one. She always hid this, wearing long skirts. As a girl, she participated in boxing, and other sports. She was also accepted into one of Mexico's premier schools, where she was one of 35 female students enrolled.
In 1925, she was riding in a bus when it collided with a trolley car. She was seriously injured. Her spinal column was broken, along with her collarbone, some ribs, her pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. She also had an iron handrail pierce her abdomen and her uterus.
She managed to recover, and eventually walk again, but suffered frequent relapses of intractable pain for the rest of her life. She would be bed bound for months at a time when this happened. She had over 35 operations, mainly on her back, and her right leg and foot.
After her accident, she turned her attention from medicine (she had wanted to be a doctor) to a full time painting career. She was left in a full body cast during her recovery period, and she chose painting to occupy her time while she was forced to be immobile. She did mainly self portraits, saying "I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best".
She managed to approach a famous Mexican painter that she admired, DIego Rivera. She asked his advice about pursuing art as a career. He recognized her talent, and encouraged her development, and the two soon became intimate with each other. They were married in 1929. They were often referred to as "The Elephant and the Dove", in relation to their size differences. They had a very tumultuous marriage, both of them being hot tempered. Frida was openly bisexual, and would have affairs with both men, and women. Her husband tolerated the women, but was insanely jealous of the men. He, in his own turn, had an affair with her sister, Cristina. They divorced, and then eventually remarried. Their second marriage was as bad as the first, and they usually enjoyed seperate living quarters, entirely. (Next to each other sometimes.)
She continued to have many operations, and also suffered misscarriages during this time as well. Her artwork is known for its portrayals of her pain. of her 143 paintings, 55 of them are self portraits, an often have symbolic portrayals of both physical, and psychological wounds.
She was also influenced by the indigenous Mexican culture (of which her mother was a part of), using bright colors and their symbolism, as well. She frequently included a symbolic Monkey in her work In 1939 she went to France and was featured in an exhibition of her paintings. The Louvre purchased one of her paintings, "The Frame", and displayed it. It was the first work by a 20th century Mexican artist ever purchased by them.
She and Rivera were active communist sympathizers, and, Diego befriended Leon Trotsky, who sought political asylum in Mexico. He moved into their house, and Frida had an affair with him. He and his wife moved, and he was later assassinated.
She died on July 13, 1954, with the official cause of death being noted to be a pulmonary embolism. A few days before she died, she wrote in her diary "I hope the exit as joyful- and I hope never to return-Frida". Many have sustpected that she overdosed, or that her death was not accidental. No autopsy was ever performed.
Her ashes are in the home she was born in, which is now a museum.


Jo Beaufoix said...

You know, I'd heard of her, but didn't really know her story. She sounds amazing, and she went through so much. Must go and peep at her paintings now.

Bubblewench said...

You are so awesome.. paitings up in about 10 minutes.

Sorry for the time lag JO!!

holly said...

oh i really want to see the paintings now!

Daryl said...

My dear pal Vera Battamarco is particpating in participating in a salute to Frida .. check this out

sybil law said...

She rocks.
'Nuff said.