Frida and the faculty of the chameleon

(The Surreal Headdresses)

For the collection of surreal headdresses I put a chameleon on Frida’s head because she had the same faculty as this animal. That is, just as he changes color based on temperature, in front of a threat or to communicate, Frida did it in the same way. Through the colors he communicated his feelings, his pains, his tragedies. I don’t know how many people they would be able to endure so much, between operations, busts, medicines and months in bed without ever giving up. So Frida told us everything with her colors as only a chameleon can do it.

 Born of a Mexican mother and a Hungarian father who loves literature, music and later a painter and photographer. We know that she was a nice, intelligent, active and very, but very religious woman, almost fanatically. Frida was born with spina bifida and as if it were not enough, at 6 she fell ill with polio deforming her foot and right leg. At school her classmates called her “pata de palo” or “wooden leg”, so she wore long Mexican skirts.

Frida was studying to become a doctor, at some point in her life, at the age of 25, she suffered a traffic accident while traveling on a bus, suffering from a fractured pelvis with perforation, which forced her to rest on the bed for a long time. Wear the torso for 9 months and plaster on the right foot. The actual diagnosis comes out after 1 year: fracture of the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae, three fractures of the pelvis, eleven fractures in the right foot, dislocation of the left elbow, deep wound in the abdomen, produced by an iron bar entered from the right hip and exit from sex, tearing the left lip. Acute peritonitis. He undergoes 32 surgeries.

Time spent in bed stimulates her to read about communism often and to paint. Until then, Frida had never thought of becoming an artist. The first thing he paints is his foot that he can glimpse under the sheets. To encourage her, her parents give her a four-poster bed with a mirror on the ceiling so that she can see herself to paint herself.

After a year and a few months, with her great courage and strong character, Frida who had changed her real name Frieda (which means peace) to Frida to contest Nazi politics, returns to walk despite the severe pain, bringing with her the scars.

A year later he joins a group of artists and intellectuals. Frida’s painting has its special, unique and profound language. The theme of the self-portrait is often recurring because of health, Frida paints the pain, paints herself because she spent a lot of time in solitude, but then paints the pre-Columbian, Mexican culture, popular faith, Christian saints, flora and fauna with often present monkeys and parrots. Through the group of students, Frida meets young people linked to Cuban communism by Julio Antonio Mella, exiled to Mexico, lover of Tina Modotti, photographer. Although Frida already knew Diego Rivera, it was Tina who had them found a second time. We all know of Frida’s relationship and marriage with Diego, the large man who often called him “elephant”, had already been married twice and despite knowing of his infidelity, he married him with a difference of almost 20 years. Diego was already known in the artistic world, Frida becomes an activist of the communist movement, then they move to America for Diego’s work. Frida becomes pregnant 3 times and 3 times she is forced to have an abortion due to the insufficiency of her body. So they decide to return to live in Mexico and separate. They live in different houses but connected by a bridge, so that each one can have his own artistic space. (Just as Marina Abramovic says: never fall in love with an artist if you are an artist “).

In 1939 they divorced. The reason? He cheats on her with his sister, but Frida was a strong woman who never gave up and wrongly repaid with the same coin or worse. Do you remember Tina? The photographer? Here, Frida has had many stories with both men and women, among them, Tina was one but also famous people such as Andrè Breton and the revolutionary Lev Trotsky.

In the 1940s Frida is famous and her works are in demand in almost all of Mexico’s collective exhibitions. In 1950 he underwent other operations and because of the pain he can no longer paint without chasing drugs. If once his paintings were painted well, not with lightness but with patience, now the brush strokes are softer and more imprecise. At her first exhibition in 1953, Frida participates lying down. It was Diego who brought his four-poster bed to the exhibition where Frida participates drinking and singing with the general public.

In August of the same year, the doctors decided to amputate her right leg to the knee. Frida died in 1954 in her Casa Azul in Coyoacàn, from pneumonia. Frida and Diego’s house has remained as such and today is its museum where thousands of people visit every year. It is a beautiful, colorful house, with a garden that still blooms with cactuses, its canopy bed, Diego’s study with his sculptures, Frida’s work tools such as brushes and colors, as well as his easel. A large, colorful and lively house just like her. Odara.

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