because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Frida Kahlo

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo said she painted so many self-portraits because she was often ill or in severe pain and therefore often alone.  Despite the way this might seem to have limited the vision of her work, however, surrealist Andre Breton once referred to Kahlo's art as "a ribbon around a bomb."

Though married to the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, Kahlo's frequent, open, and sometimes long-standing sexual relationships with women and other men (the most famous of whom was Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky) marked her as a woman who, health problems notwithstanding, would not be denied whatever it was she wanted.  "I was born a painter," Kahlo once said emphatically, following up her statement with the declaration: "I was born a bitch."

Largely sidelined by her more famous husband during her relatively brief lifetime, Kahlo and her work continued to gain attention after her death and has now become the subject of numerous exhibitions, commemorations, books, articles, musical albums, and films, proving yet again that an in-your-face woman cannot ultimately be ignored.

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