Search For Posts

June 18, 2011

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was born in Coyoico├án, Mexico City, to a Mexican mother and German father. At the age of fifteen, when she was preparing to enter medical school, she was involved in a bus accident which left her with pain and discomfort the rest of her life. Like Matisse, she began painting during her recuperation. She sent some of her paintings to the well-known Mexican painter Diego Rivera. Rivera encouraged Kahlo, and in 1928 the two painters married. Their often rocky relationship would last the rest of Kahlo's life. Kahlo was mostly self-taught, and she was influenced by the starkness, color, and bold, naive figuration of the popular and religious arts of Mexico. Her painting became intensely focused on a series of self-portraits. In some of Kahlo's portraits, such as "The Frame" (1938), the artist presents herself with long hair and dressed in the brightly colored garb of Mexican tradition. In others, such as "The Velvet Dress" (1926), she wears her hair in a sophisticated Western style and is dressed in European attire. This reflected her fondness for wearing these types of ‘costumes’ in everyday life. As her work progressed, Kahlo began to emphasize not only her thick, joined eyebrows but also the soft, dark hair on her upper lip. She said she painted so many self-portraits because that is what she knew best. Kahlo died on July 13, 1954, soon after her 47th birthday.

Kahlo became a great painter even though she for the most part taught herself. We can become great students of the Tao without an old sage with a beard standing over us. No one achieves the Tao. No one can own it. Wisdom comes from not a book or even from a wise old man with a beard. Read the Tao Te Ching. Open your eyes to nature, the world around you. They do not speak a word, but are the greatest teachers.