It started in Vancouver BC, when I spied stuffed Frida y Frida pillows sitting on the couch in a loft.
Then I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of days in New York City. Just like Anita in West Side Story, I like the Island Manhattan. At the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Frida’s painting Fulang Chang and I is quite the hit. Next to the painting is a mirror, the frame painted by Frida and given to her friend Mary Sklar. “…telling Sklar that she had added the mirror so they could always be together” (here’s the source).
Now, all of us can be with Frida.
You can see that one of Diego’s paintings is directly opposite. Frida is amused that everyone breezes by Diego’s painting but stops to take a picture of themselves with her. (Note to self: Consider adding mirror to blog.)
Frida surprised me at the Albright-Knox in Buffalo. (The trip to Buffalo was to inter the ashes of The Scout’s parents.) There she was, just past Van Gogh and Matisse:
(Note to self: Consider adding monkey character to blog posts.)
I find Frida fascinating. I love her brow and her penchant for traditional Mexican clothing. Frida is mysterious. I read about her and it strikes me that we can only guess what she was like; that throughout her life she revealed and concealed. Can we know the ‘real’ Frida (or the ‘real’ anyone), or do we project ourselves onto her? Is that what we do with all our heroes?
I learned something this summer. I have been saving frequent flier miles for years, amassing an amount that would get me to England or Italy or South Africa. Turns out that I needed those miles to protect my sanity this summer, so I used them to do just that. Those saved miles turned out to be ’emergency fund to go home’ and not ‘go on holiday and enjoy.’ I am slightly embarrassed that it never occurred to me that such a scenario would take place. Hmmm. In the words of Robert Bly, “So Be It, Amen.”
Once again, recent experience informs me that once you make yourself known on these here Interwebs, it doesn’t take much for someone(s) to read about you, then write about you and turn you into someone you’re not. Oh, what they say about you may not be true or rational, but on the Interwebs everyone has an opportunity to blab away at will. So while I don’t engage with those who say false things about me, I will say that I don’t appreciate anonymous phone calls from heavy breathers late at night. It can have the chilling effect that it is no doubt intended to have. One hopes the calls will stop and the chill thaw.
For today, I’m hiding behind Frida’s skirts.
“Eight days before she died, she added a finishing touch to her last painting, a still life that pits the crimson pulp of chopped and sliced watermelon against the life/death duality of a …(art-speak redacted)…Then in large capital letters, she wrote the motto whose invocatory voice makes both her art and her legend live: VIVA LA VIDA, she said, LONG LIVE LIFE.”
—Hayden Herrera, Frida Kahlo: The Paintings
Link to Robert Bly’s So Be It, Amen.