Her name was Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo Calderón (Mexico City, 1907-1954) and she had a life as extraordinary as her haunting, colorful and passionate self-portraits. She is perhaps the most famous Mexican painter and rebel to date, an emblem for her countrypeople, to their traditions and for feminism. She was branded as a surreal and indigenous artist, but she refused both descriptions and stated that she painted what she knew best: herself.
So, Frida Kahlo always denied that she painted dreams, but her own reality, a harsh reality, shocked and shaken by the physical pain of the consequences of an accident, for which she had to undergo numerous surgeries. As a child she also had suffered from polio. Her condition made her usually feel limited and isolated.
The long resting periods and, above all, her stormy marriage to painter Diego Rivera pushed her to paint, and she created stories full of passion, loss, anger and pain. Out of her 140 creations, some 55 are self-portraits, just stricking in symbols. She died at age 47, leaving as a farewell the following sentence: “I hope the exit is joyful, and I hope never to come back.” Genius from the craddle to the tomb.
I invite you to read some other of her memorable quotes:
Feet, why am I supposed to love you when I have wings to fly?
Can inventing verbs? I want to tell you one: I heaven you.
I paint myself because I am the one I know best.
Actually, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I know they represent the frankest expression of myself.
Everything can be beautiful, even the most horrible things.
I want to build. But I am but a tiny but important part of the whole of which I still have no conscience.
I feel like I always wanted you, since you were born, and even before you were conceived. And sometimes I feel like you made me be born.
The sadness is portrayed in every bit of my paintings, but that’s my position, I have no manners.
Each tick is a second life happens, runs away, and is never repeated. And it is so intense, so much interesting, that the problem is just knowing how to live it. Let everyone resolve it as possible.
I would give you everything you had never had, and even then you would not know the wonder that is to love you.
Here I leave you my portrait, so you all remember me, every day and night, that I am absent.
Building a wall for one’s own suffering is risking to let it devour you from the inside.
Tree of Hope, stand firm.
I used to think I was the strangest person in the world, but then I thought, well there are many people in the world, there must be someone like me who feels bizarre and damaged in the same way that I feel. I imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking about me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there reading this, you know that, yes, it is true, I am here, I am just as strange as you.
I wish you a happy week,
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