Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"A ribbon tied around a bombshell"


This image was posted on Instagram by many different people yesterday to mark Frida Kahlo's birthday. I don't know who the artist is who evoked Frida crying tears of paint. In a life so wracked by physical and emotional pain, Frida would have liked the metaphor I think.

A few years ago I wrote about Frida and the notion I once had that one must suffer for art. I no longer believe that, even though it is true that many artists do suffer. Perhaps these artists absorb the world in a way others don't, and are left no choice but to find an outlet in what they create.

The French writer Andre Breton once described Frida's work as "a ribbon tied around a bombshell." I was so struck by that. Throughout her life, Frida tied and retied that ribbon in the face of almost certain detonation. She possessed such fortitude. She bequeathed us its power in her art, those haunting canvases of painted tears.




8 comments:

  1. A gorgeous tribute to one of the greatest artists ever. Frida means so much to so many of us, I think especially to women. I bought a charm with one of her self portraits on it in Santa Fe and wear it when I need to feel strong. This said it all so perfectly! That last line had me in tears.

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  2. Well, darling strong Frida gave us plenty of room to romanticize in her work. The butterfly wings amongst the iron contraptions of torture.
    Some people make me glad to be a human being on Planet Earth.
    Frida Kahlo is one of them.

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  3. Yes yes Saint and human. I adore her.

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  4. Have you been to her house, Casa Azul? I wanted to move in and never leave!

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  5. She is a definite favorite here,, too. Thanks for the link to your previous post. I think Breton is completely right.

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  6. love this post. and i am a huge frida kahlo fan (i also love diego rivera's work)

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  7. I love this -- all of it. You've added more to my huge store of Frida lore. I know some might think her overexposed, but I can't get enough. I plan on going to Mexico City next year with a good friend to hang out at Azul House. Maybe you should come, too!

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  8. I suppose art is just different without suffering. Amazing woman, that.

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