I've been reading a great deal about her in the past week, revisiting some of her work. Frida has always been one of my favourite artists from history, as she is to many people.
I had always felt kinship with her, based on not very much at all: the impact her husband had on her life and her adoration of him (although I am far more fortunate than her in that I have a loyal partner), her bisexuality, her eccentric and lavish clothes, her lack of concern with her facial hair (!), her love of self examination via self portraiture...
The sense of loss in her works now speaks to me much more clearly than it ever used to, and makes me feel a stronger form of kinship with her.
This form of loss is obviously something I had hoped never to have in common with anyone. Despite this, one of the gifts of this loss has been to hear the bravery and love in other women's stories, and to receive their generous support of me.
Frida, like many women, had the bravery to turn her grief into an energy which fuelled her work.
I feel very inspired by this.
It is possible to create, even if it is not the creation of what I wanted at the moment...There is something both empowering and cathartic about making. Life can still contain art, creativity, adventures around the world and love, even in the face of grief. Frida had all these things, although she suffered terribly with ill health and pain (and through betrayals by Diego). I am luckier than her.
I have made a self portrait since Lyra died.
I think it shows something of what I feel, and making it helped me see more of what I am feeling.