Well, hello possums! I hope your weekend is a veritable orgy of fun frocks and frivolity, or, at the very least, a welcome reprieve from the warfare of work and other necessary mundanities.
I have been a busy little bee this month past. Perhaps you might have caught a few of my W.I.Ps on Facebook; though I sometimes feel like using it is synonymous with selling my soul to the devil, it seems this is where I am getting the most feedback for my work these days! Still, my stats do tell me there are a dedicated few of you who still read the blog, and this is a good thing, because probably I would go mad if I couldn't write. Facebook is brilliant when used responsibly, but as I've said before, I feel too often that Facebookers can forget about the real feelings attached to the real people on the other side of a comment. It leaves me a bit glum sometimes.
I am not a bit sad, however, to share my latest addition to the Etsy shop, 'Frida'. She is probably the lady that needs no long-winded introduction, and I can't lie- I don't actually know all the nitty-gritty about her anyways. Like most people, I find some of her work hard to look at. If I'm being honest (and before you storm my house with pitchforks, do remember this is just my opinion!) I don't think all of it was strictly good painting, and perhaps more accurately, it doesn't really suit my aesthetic sensibilities. All the same, there's no denying Frida Kahlo's work was utterly compelling.
I'm not sure how many of us can really identify with the sheer volume of her many personal struggles. The streetcar accident and the crippling physical pain that haunted her long after, eventually causing gangrene and the amputation of her foot; the continued heartache of her miscarriages; even the tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera- any one of these things can and do break a person.
In my teaching days, I would mention Frida Kahlo to my students, who would continue to look at me blankly until I showed them a picture of her. They knew then, exactly who I was talking about ('the chick that looked like a dude' I believe one of my more astute charges described her). I think I am drawn to Frida Kahlo because her pain is written in her face, and there is such a strength in the hard set of her jaw, a fierce sense of self and unflinching honesty that transcends the monobrow and the mo and is, quite simply, beautiful.
There is a very famous photograph or two of Frida in some sort of alleyway, cuddling a deer, and this is how I think of her: both wild and barely contained, fragile and stronger than perhaps she could have known, and beautiful in her refusal to corset herself in the times and expectations of her sex.
What do you think?