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message 1: by jillian (last edited Nov 04, 2010 09:54AM) (new)

jillian Woods (jilliankatewoods) | 15 comments Frida Kahlo's work has always made me a bit uncomfortable... And in my opinion, when a work of art manages to push you outside of your comfort zone and to feel emotions that you're uncomfortable feeling, that's great art. Art that 'pushes you' can somehow creep through all of your prejudices and puts you in touch with your humanity, on a very private and safe level, where you are free to be who you are.

Without knowing anything about Frida's life story, her paintings will tell you that she was a 'fractured' soul. All of the bright and happy colors juxtaposed with images of horror do a great job of conveying this message.

Check out these paintings and the stories behind them:
http://www.pbs.org/weta/fridakahlo/wo...
http://www.fridakahlofans.com/c0100x.htm
http://www.fridakahlofans.com/c0090x.htm
http://www.fridakahlofans.com/c0290.htm
http://www.fridakahlofans.com/c0410.html


message 2: by jillian (last edited Nov 04, 2010 10:56AM) (new)

jillian Woods (jilliankatewoods) | 15 comments ***This is a comment moved from a different topic, which I posted in by accident. I'm going to share this comment to generate discussion:

Yeah, I can see why this wouldn't be somebody's cup of tea. haha.... I think that having your spirit lifted is a completely subjective experience, and probably has a lot more to do with you than with the artist or piece of work. What some may find beautiful, others will find repulsive. Personally, I need a bit of adversity, sadness, darkness to add substance to the story and to evoke a response within myself. I'm generally turned off by things that are outwardly beautiful (in an obvious way, like still-lifes of pretty flowers, although even some of those can be haunting).

What I find uplifting in Frida's work is her ability to overcome extreme adversity and to be honest about her experiences. Some of the paintings that I shared were painted while she was in a body cast and confined to her bed, because she became nearly crippled after a very serious bus accident. This comes only a few years after recovering from childhood polio. I find that kind of perseverance very uplifting.

I'd venture to say that most of the great stuff out there has an element of sadness, whether overcome or not. Shakespeare's tragedies, Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings", Hitchcock films, etc.

"Frida found a way of painting pain – of permitting us to see pain and in so doing, reflecting the pain of the world. … She is a figure that represents the conquest of adversity, that represents how – against hell and high water – a person is able to make their life and reinvent themselves and make that life be personally fulfilling... Frida Kahlo in that sense is a symbol of hope, of power, of empowerment, for a variety of sectors of our population who are undergoing adverse conditions." - "Understand Frida Today," PBS Life & Times of Frida


message 3: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1948 comments I think Frida Kahlo's work is wonderful. Have you read the biography by Hayden Herrera? Frida A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera


message 4: by jillian (new)

jillian Woods (jilliankatewoods) | 15 comments Hi Ruth!

I haven't read the biography, but I saw the movie. But I really want to start reading more bios, so I might just pick it up...

I seem to remember from the movie that there was a period of time after her bus accident where she had to paint with her mouth, can you verify this? I can't seem to find any info on it on the web, other than the fact that her mother bought her a lap easel. I'm probably wrong. hahhaa... good ole imagination.... ;)


message 5: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1948 comments I don't remember the mouth-painting thing, but it's probably been 15-20 years since I read the book. I do remember tho, that she was in constant pain.


message 6: by Heather (last edited Nov 04, 2010 12:52PM) (new)

Heather | 4 comments You know, showing my initial ignorance...I wasn't as familiar with Frida Kahlo until she was discussed previously awhile ago (I can't remember when or which thread). But I am really enjoying this thread and understanding how her painful life experiences have influenced both her art and it's appreciators...myself being one of them. Thanks Jillian!


message 7: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1948 comments I discovered Frida K back in the mid 70s when I was an undergraduate in art. I immediately fell in love with her work. But she wasn't very well known then, so it was like I had this wonderful secret. Now that she's all over the place I'm actually a little disappointed--like she isn't mine any more. Silly, I know.


message 8: by jillian (new)

jillian Woods (jilliankatewoods) | 15 comments Heather wrote: "You know, showing my initial ignorance...I wasn't as familiar with Frida Kahlo until she was discussed previously awhile ago (I can't remember when or which thread). But I am really enjoying this t..."

aw, that was sweet, Heather.


message 9: by jillian (new)

jillian Woods (jilliankatewoods) | 15 comments Ruth wrote: "I discovered Frida K back in the mid 70s when I was an undergraduate in art. I immediately fell in love with her work. But she wasn't very well known then, so it was like I had this wonderful secr..."

hahaha, Ruth, I know EXACTLY what you mean! It's happened to me many times. I have to learn to 'let go'... hahaha


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