Artist of the Week: Frida Kahlo
The Two Fridas
About Frida Kahlo:
“With slim sable brushes, Frida Kahlo painstakingly rendered her bold unibrow and mustache in dozens of self-portraits. This same Frida also shaved three years off her age, claiming 1910 to be the year she was born in Coyoacán, Mexico, instead of 1907.
Vanity? Hardly. Frida, always her own favorite model, was not about preserving youthful beauty so much as identifying herself with Mexico, her beloved homeland. Frida’s "acquired birth year” just so happens to coincide with the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution (1910) and the overthrow of President Porfirio Diaz. If her glaring lie seems jarring and incongruous – disturbing, even, in the face of her usual unabashed candor – reflect for a moment on the juxtaposed images that characterize her paintings. Frida never allowed apparent facts – her own birth certificate, for instance – to get in the way of a higher truth; the truth in this case being that she and modern Mexico were inextricably bound in both revolution and renaissance.
An understanding of Frida Kahlo, the person as well as the paintings, requires a setting aside of conventional thoughts – and dates, as the case may be. At the same time, paradoxically enough, it requires the context of history. She was a revolutionary artist born amidst political chaos in her homeland; born in the year of its own bloody rebirth, give or take a couple years. That image, according to the artist, is more truthful than fact itself. It would be quibbling to disagree.“
Continue reading at: http://www.pbs.org/weta/fridakahlo/life/index.html