In the “Blue House” – the Frida Kahlo’s Museum in Mexico – you can see her workplace: a table, brushes, paints, a mirror. “All of her pictures are selfies,” tourists joke since most of the works are self-portraits.
Creativity Kalo – a diary, where the artist, without any embarrassment, almost turns the soul inside out.
In self-portraits of Frida – the constant pain in the spine, the betrayal of her husband, the illustrious artist Diego Rivera (who not only constantly changed Frida, but even managed to change it with her sister), the inability to become a mother (because of poor health all her pregnancies ended in miscarriages or abortions), loss of the foot and a sense of the proximity of death.
At 6 years Frida suffered poliomyelitis, because of which one leg became shorter than the other, there was limp. But Kalo firmly decided to prove that nothing is worse than the others: despite the constant aching pain, she was engaged in boxing, football, and swimming. In everyday life, she hid her legs in long skirts.
At the age of 15 she was selected to one of the best schools in Mexico, intending to study medicine. At the same time, she began to write pictures, met the artist Diego Rivera, painting the walls of the school. Rivera became the main love of her life. An ugly, full-time man, older than Frida for 20 years, he had some kind of hypnotic charm and simply drove women mad: Kalo could not resist. She firmly decided that he would become his wife. For Diego, she was another student in love with him.
September 17, 1925, Frida’s life changed once and for all. On a typical day, she and her friend sat down on a regular Mexican bus (quite “flimsy”, with wooden walls) and went about their business. The bus collided with a trolleybus. Of the passengers most affected Frieda: one of the handrails practically pierced the girl through, damaged the spine, pierced through the pelvic bone, broke his legs in several places.
Doctors of the hospital, where they brought the mutilated Frida, were sure that she would not live long. But Frida has been used to fighting since her childhood. She did not die, and even slowly recovered. Immobilized, as most of her body was stitched with gypsum, she could move her hands, and then her parents brought her paints, brushes and canvas. And also – a mirror. Frida painted her own gypsum, and then she wrote her first self-portrait. Why did she depict herself? Because at that time her world narrowed to a hospital bed and her own body. “I am the topic that I know best” – later the artist will tell.
Frida gradually begins to walk again, draws a lot. He is fond of communist ideology – in those years in Mexico, this current was incredibly fashionable. At one of the parties, Frida again encountered Diego Rivera, the artist, for whom, before the accident, she promised to marry. Diego was drunk, shocking and charming. In addition, an enthusiastic communist – at that time Rivera was the secretary of the Mexican Communist Party. Frieda did everything to attract attention. And soon became his mistress, and later his wife. She called this love one of two catastrophes in her life. The first is the same accident.
The marriage of Rivera and Kahlo was not easy – Diego constantly cheated, although he swore his wife in love. Even at the wedding Frieda was forced to tolerate the presence of several of his former mistresses. The artist never concealed his betrayals and never apologized for them.
Communist Rivera is invited to work in the US, and Frida is sent along with him. Several years spent in a capitalist country only strengthens her enthusiasm for communism. And Frida goes deeper into the national culture – she used to write in a manner similar to the people’s art of Mexico, and life abroad, in contrast, brought her even closer to national traditions.
Frida begins to collect monuments of ancient Mexican culture. And already a long skirt with national ornaments has long become her signature outfit. After all, she so well concealed the injuries received by the artist.
Critics of the transformation of Kahlo appreciated – Frida was spoken around the world.
In 1937, when Frida and Diego had already returned to Mexico, they sheltered the disgraced Leon Trotsky. Both admired the “rostrum of the Russian revolution.” It is rumored that a novel broke out between Kalo and Trotsky, but there is practically no evidence for this story. As there is no evidence of Frida’s involvement in the death of Trotsky – but such rumors periodically appeared.
Frida knew how to charm: according to the memoirs of her contemporaries, she, despite the almost incessant pains and new and new operations that were required to maintain her health, liked to joke, have fun, laughed to exhaustion, rolled up parties, drank, smoked and did not at all follow the recommendations Doctors. Sadness, longing, unrealized hopes – all this she left to her paintings.
Kahlo dreamed of a child, but poor health did not allow her to endure and give birth. Frida writes herself in a hospital bed, and outside – flying, but connected with her umbilical cord – there are an unborn embryo, broken pelvic bones, a faded flower and other objects symbolizing for her the impossibility of motherhood.
In 1939, an exhibition of Mexican art was held in Paris, and its main opening was the paintings of Frida – one of the paintings acquired by the Louvre!
Then Frida learns that her husband has changed her with her younger sister Christina, and is writing one of her most famous paintings. On it Diego leans over the torn and bloody body of Frida, and black and white pigeons hold a ribbon with the name of the canvas: “Only a few scratches.” At that time, all the criminal chronicles wrote about the trial of the father, who cut his child and justified himself in court by saying: “Only 20 cuts”.
Frida rolls Diego a scandal, leaves and starts “all the hard.” Changes the husband for the time being with men and women, and this terribly irritates Rivera. In 1939 he asked for a divorce. But not a year goes by, as they again marry: this time on the terms set by Frida. Among them – the total absence of sexual relations between spouses. Diego agrees.
In the 40 years Fried invited to dozens of exhibitions around the world. At the same time, her health is deteriorating. Pain must be strangled with drugs – in those years there were no other painkillers. By the 50th she was already struggling to get out of bed. All this time, Diego is near and supports his wife.
In 1953, they are preparing to open her first personal exhibition in Mexico, which is a great event for a patriot like Frida. But only by that time she can not get out of bed: the artist developed gangrene and she was amputated part of her right leg. But she can not help but come – and Kalo is brought into the room on a stretcher, which is placed on a bed prepared for her right in the center of the room. The artist opens the exhibition.
Less than a year after the personal exhibition, Frieda dies of pneumonia. Her last words: “I’m looking forward to leaving … I hope never to return …”.