Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Viva Frida!

Roo & Frida

Today would have been Frida Kahlo's 103rd birthday. If you know me you know that I adore Frida. How I was introduced to her is a bit unusual. Back when I was in junior college my boyfriend at the time convinced me to study abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico. (I will always be thankful to him for that trip). The trip did not start out so great. When we got there the airport had lost our luggage. So the next day we had to go back to Mexico City to get our bags. We had a few hours to kill so the teacher who took us, (I wish I could remember his name!) took us to the Frida Kahlo museum, which just happens to be Frida's home.

I had never heard of Frida, Diego Rivera yes, but not Frida. From the moment I laid my eyes on the big blue house I was intrigued. The moment I walked in the door I was transported to another world, another time. I felt a complicated and intense energy inside the house. I remember how beautiful her kitchen was, and the mosaic of "Diego & Frida" on the wall. I remember the bed and the dresses. The fireplace with the meso-American figurines. I remember the calm and joy I felt when we walked into the courtyard filled with flowers. I left this magical place with so many questions about who Frida was and what her life was about.

From that moment on I read anything and everything I could about Frida. I read "Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo" by Hayden Herrera. I was so emotionally involved in this book that when the end came and Frida was cremated I cried so hard my Mom rushed into my room to see what had happened. Last year I was lucky enough to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit in San Fransisco and I cried then too.

I have never seen or felt such emotion from an artist. Her paintings ooze her pain and joy. I cannot help but feel everything she did as she painted. To see her paintings up close is intense. To see each brush stroke made me feel closer to her than ever. She lived a life of joy, pain and suffering and was taken from this world too soon. I am thankful she painted vigorously and has left an amazing collection of her heart on canvas.

"I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you. " -Frida Kahlo

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