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Frida kahlo: A Voyage through pain.
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Frida kahlo: A Voyage through pain.

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón was a woman of substance whose thoughts and manner of living might provoke the minds and hearts of the stereotypical notions of society, whose idea of life and sexuality might stir the very foundations of common beliefs and primitive thinking. She lead the life in agony of both physical and mental anguish.
 
Frida spent her childhood in her family home La Casa Azul (The Blue House) with her parents Guillermo Kahlo, who was a photographer by profession and Matilde Calderón, a housewife and homemaker. Coyoacan was then a small village on the outskirts of Mexico city, her childhood as she herself described was “sad and joyless” because of her parents’ illness and her own early sufferance of polio which resulted her right leg being shorter and thinner than the left one.

 

After her schooling Frida decided to pursue her career in medical science due to her academic excellence. Her father introduced her to the creative aspects of Painting and Photography and taught her about literature, he also encouraged her towards sports. He was her favorite parent who taught her tenderness of nature and animals in contrary to her mother who was deeply and fanatically religious, who taught her about religion, christianity and the colourful Mexican culture.

On one fine dreadful day while returning from her school, Frida met with an accident, a disaster which would live with her, her whole life. The wooden vehicle she was riding in crashed with a car which left the wooden vehicle in splinters and almost all the passengers were killed on the spot or fatally injured. Frida herself was broken in many places, a handrail pierced through her waist and came out from her vagina, fracturing her pelvic bone, the accident made her a cripple, both her legs were fractured in several places, her collarbone, her ribs, her spine, the injuries were so severe that she was put into a plaster corset which cemented her to the bed for nearly a year.

She couldn’t move she couldn’t work let alone her aspiration of becoming a doctor, to lift her spirit her father insisted her to paint and the journey began, she started painting with the help of an easel that made it possible for her to paint in bed, a mirror was also attached to the bed as if so, that she could see herself and paint.

 

Painting gave her the joy which she missed in her life, it gave an opening to the creative instinct that was embedded within her. The isolation gave her the opportunity to contemplate on life and her overall existence which made her desire to begin again. She quotes “I paint things just as i saw them with my own eyes, nothing more”

There was no full recovery of her impairment but being a strong individual she got out of the bed and started socializing with friends. Kahlo also joined the revolutionary Mexican Communist Party and was introduced to the leading activists and artists of the Community. There she met Diego Rivera, a muralist who was well known and famous for his controversial wall paintings in Mexico, and a notable figure of the communist party.

They enjoyed each other’s company, Diego was a man with whom anyone could talk equally, he would come to the level of any individual and talk tirelessly. Despite of their age difference Frida drew toward him, fascinated by the same charm, her affection for him grew in a strong bond and of course, LOVE.

They decide to marry, even though her parents resisted at first, they described the union as a marriage between an elephant and a dove, referring to the couple’s appearance. Diego was a twice divorced man and a self confessed womanizer, Frida accepted him with a big warm heart. She thought if he tries to engage with any other woman, that woman would be beneath her, like there would be no comparison, she believed she had a fixed place in his heart that no woman could replace her. For her loyalty was very important in their relationship.
But Diego being Diego soon started affairs with his art models, she overlooked all of them not giving his frivolities much attention, but it broke her heart when she caught him with a specific woman, her own sister, she was furious and distraught at the same time. This was a slight to her trust, her own sister! She decided to separate herself from Rivera, stating Diego can never be a husband to any woman, he can only be a companion.
Whilst all of this, she had a problem walking which in fact doctor said was gangrene infecting her leg, this resulted in amputation for her leg. She became a proper cripple now, again stuck to the bed with severe pain of body and heart. Frida channeled all her energy in painting, she found a way of painting pain, venting all her pain through painting, she gave the world a chance to see and understand the pain and agony of her being, and so doing she reflected the pain of the world, of those who could not speak their pain, who indulge themselves in quietness, she was so broken from inside that she had no other beauty to look at other than herself, within herself. Her paintings were a psychological voyage through pain.

 

She became feeble day by day, her health deteriorated a lot, on heavy medications and strict bed rest, frustrated of her own agony Frida Kahlo lived a dying life. Deprived of joy, she could only paint brokenness wishing only to live as long as she could paint.

On her deathbed contemplating life she quotes “I hope the leaving is joyful, and i hope never to return”.
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