Sunday, July 06, 2008

I Painted My Own Reality

Had she lived, artist Frida Kahlo would be celebrating her 101st birthday today. But she did not: she died in 1954, way too young, and just a few days shy of her 47th birthday.

Kahlo is noted for her rich and exuberant paintings in which she often figured as the central figure (Self-portraits are great. You don't have to wait around for your subject: she's ready when you are.) and for her stormy long-term relationship with fellow painter, Diego Rivera.

This
verbal portrait of Kahlo is lovely:
Kahlo also won praise from Kandinsky and Picasso. She had, however, conceived a violent dislike for what she called "this bunch of coocoo lunatic sons of bitches of surrealists." She did not renounce Surrealism immediately. In January 1940, for example, she was a participant (with Rivera) in the International Exhibition of Surrealism held in Mexico City.

Later, she was to be vehement in her denials that she had ever been a true Surrealist. “They thought I was a Surrealist," she said, "but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”

And there's more where that came from.

I think she'd laugh to see all that we’ve made of her. Or maybe she'd cry, depending on her mood.

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