So, a few weeks back, browsing through Etsy to do a treasury for my Friday post, I stumbled upon a Frida Kahlo piece and decided to do a Viva La Frida! treasury...
The weeks that followed I was pondering on a Halloween collage and TARAH!!! this was when the light bulb went on and I decided on Frida + Day of the Dead. I went to google and searched images of the icon, browsed through one of my books on her collection of paintings. However, what really caught my attention was a diary entry a few days before her death, she wrote:
"I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return — Frida"
This was the inspiration needed, and from there I began.
The trademarks: uni-brow, slight mustache, flowers on hair, big jewelry & red shawl.
On her left is Diego Rivera from her painting Frida & Diego Rivera (1931)
On her left is her of the same (1931) painting and The Little Deer (1946)
At the corners is a little red bead holding for the back wire for hanging.
Her skeleton forearm: with the bracelet and rings; painted nails and holding a cigar.
Wire for hanging
Now, for those who don't know, here's a bit of info on the great Frida Kahlo, thanks to Wilkipedia.
Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacan and perhaps best known for her self-portraits. Kahlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. She gave her birth date as July 7, 1910, but her birth certificate shows July 6, 1907. Kahlo had allegedly wanted the year of her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican revolution so that her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico. Kahlo contracted polio at age six, which left her right leg thinner than the left, which she disguised by wearing long, colorful skirts. It has been conjectured that she also suffered from spina bifida, a congenital disease that could have affected both spinal and leg development. On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was riding in a bus when the vehicle collided with a trolley car. She suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident, including a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. Also, an iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus, which seriously damaged her reproductive ability. The accident left her in a great deal of pain while she spent three months recovering in a full body cast. Although she recovered from her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, she had relapses of extreme pain for the remainder of her life. The pain was intense and often left her confined to a hospital or bedridden for months at a time.
She had as many as thirty-five operations as a result of the accident, mainly on her back, her right leg, and her right foot. The injuries also prevented Kahlo from having a child because of the medical complications and permanent damage. All three pregnancies had to be terminated.
As a young artist, Kahlo communicated with the Mexican painter, Diego Rivera. whose work she admired, asking him for advice about pursuing art as a career. He recognized her talent. He encouraged her artistic development and also began an intimate relationship with Frida. They were married in 1929, despite the disapproval of Frida's mother. Their marriage was often troubled. Kahlo and Rivera both had irritable temperaments and numerous extramarital affairs. The bisexual Kahlo had affairs with both men and women. Rivera knew of and tolerated her relationships with women, but her relationships with men made him jealous. For her part, Kahlo was furious when she learned that Rivera had an affair with her younger sister, Cristina. The couple divorced in November 1939, but remarried in December 1940. Their second marriage was as troubled as the first. Their living quarters were often separate, although sometimes adjacent.
After the accident, Kahlo neglected the study of medicine to begin a painting career. She painted to occupy her time during her temporary immobilization. Her self-portraits became a dominant part of her life when she was immobile for three months after her accident. Kahlo once said, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." She also stated, "I was born a bitch. I was born a painter."Her mother had a special easel made for her so she could paint in bed, and her father lent her his box of oil paints and some brushes.
Drawn from personal experiences, including her marriage, her miscarriages, and her numerous operations, Kahlo's works are often characterized by their suggestions of pain. Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds. She insisted, "I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality." Kahlo was influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is apparent in her use of bright colors and dramatic symbolism.
She combined elements of the classic religious Mexican tradition with surrealist renderings. Kahlo created a few drawings of "portraits," but unlike her paintings, they were more abstract. At the invitation of Andre Breton, The Louvre bought one of her paintings, The Frame, which was displayed at the exhibit. This was the first work by a twentieth century Mexican artist that was purchased by the renowned museum.
Frida Kahlo died on July 13, 1954, soon after turning 47. A few days before her death she wrote in her diary: "I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return — Frida". The official cause of death was given as a pulmonary embolism, although some suspected that she died from an overdose that may or may not have been accidental. An autopsy was never performed. She had been very ill throughout the previous year and her right leg had been amputated at the knee, owing to gangrene. She had a bout of bronchopneumonia about that time, which had left her quite frail. In his autobiography, Diego Rivera would write that the day Kahlo died was the most tragic day of his life, adding that, too late, he had realized that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her.
A pre- Columbian urn holding her ashes is on display in her former home, La Casa Azul (The Blue House), in Coyoacan, which since 1958 has been maintained as a museum housing a number of her works of art and numerous mementos and artifacts from her personal life.
In my opinion, she was a woman way ahead her time!!! And of course a wonderful artist!!!
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