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I'm In Love With Frida Kahlo
I’m In Love With Frida Kahlo
By Sarah Bross

A few months ago I wrote a paper about Frida Kahlo for Art Appreciation. Writing the paper was pure torture, because I’m just reiterating the facts I already read and changing them to be my own words. I love doing the reading for the paper, though.

The first time I saw one of Frida Kahlo’s paintings I was in the third grade. The art teacher gave us books about different artists to look at. I thought Frida’s pronounced unibrow pretty strange. When I got a look at her painting Without Hope, I was very grossed out and wouldn’t eat anything but English muffins for a while. Now that I’m older, the painting still kind of disturbs me. However, since I came to know Frida better, I can understand why she would put such an image onto a canvas.

When I look at her self portraits, I can see the pain in her eyes. She always looks so sad and defeated, but there’s a tiny bit of strength that she still holds onto. All Frida’s ever known is pain. When she was young she had polio and one leg was smaller than the other. When she was older, she was in a trolley accident that threw her into the street. She broke her ribs, pelvis, collarbone, spinal column, crushed her foot, fractured her leg, and if that weren’t enough, a metal handrail pierced her abdomen and uterus. Considering this happening in 1925, I can hardly believe she survived. This accident left her unable to bear children, which pained her further.

She married Diego Rivera who didn’t always treat her well, and cheated on her. She had a couple affairs of her own, too, but they still stayed together and loved each other. Diego was even painted on her forehead in a few self-portraits.

It’s funny, though, because if she wasn’t in that accident, maybe she wouldn’t have begun painting like she did. She started drawing and painting to pass the time in the hospital. Even after she recovered and dealt with other problems, she transferred her pain onto the canvas. And what amazes me, is that she is self-taught. Nobody handed her a brush and said ‘This is how you paint a bowl of fruit’, ‘This is how you paint a person’. I think sometimes there is something a person was just meant to do. I’m not sure who decides that, but Frida was meant to be an artist.

I love Frida because of everything she’s endured. Sickness, infidelity, pain, suffering, she took all of this, and she shared it with us. I love her because even though her paintings can be grotesque, but they’re still beautiful. They make you feel something because they reach out and grab you. They shake you by the shoulders and say THIS IS ME. I AM HERE. I AM REAL. I AM PAIN. I AM SUFFERING. I AM LOVE. I AM MISERY. I AM NOSTALGIA. I CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE IGNORED.

She died on July 13th, 1954. She was only 47. I would rather celebrate her birth. On July 6th, I’m going to light a candle for her if I can. If not I’ll at least have her in my thoughts. I will always remember Frida and what she shared with me.

Two Fridas.


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