Happy Birthday, Frida!

Today, on google, I was surprised to see Frida’s face. Was what Frida Kahlo doing on Google?, I wondered.

So I googled it.

I typed in “frida kahlo birthday???” and sure enough, it’s Frida’s 103 birthday this July 6, 2010. Frida was born in the sign of cancer and, like myself, on the auspicious sixth day of the month. (Mine is June 6.)

I love Frida Kahlo. I’ve loved her since I was a child. (My mother, also a painter, looks eerily like Frida.)

It’s interesting how she’s gaining a new kind of notoriety, what with Salma Hayek’s film Frida and now a Google tribute. I went to carnivale, just a few years ago, dressed as Frida. I piled a whole bouquet of flowers onto my head with braided loops and penciled my eyebrows together. I wore a velvet skirt w/tulle layers and a fringed shawl. I wrapped a tangle of faux barbed wire & bird around my neck. I stuck Diego’s face onto my forehead with eyelash glue. But the best part, by far — covering  my nipples — were the weirdest pasties EVER: big “EYES” with sequin irises and black plastic lashes.

"Diego and Me" by Frida Kahlo (Frida was married to famous mexican muralist, Diego Rivera)

My carnivale get-up — “Fleshpot Frida” — was surreal and beautiful and creepy. So Frida! The people who got it loved it, absolutely, but I was shocked at how many people had no idea who Frida Kahlo was, what she did or how she changed the art world. Frida Kahlo had always been akin to a catholic Saint in our home: Saint Frida!

It’s no wonder I love Vicki Berndt’s St. Frida painting! If I had an extra $1500 I’d snap that sucker up cause it’s still available for purchase and it’s so worth the money. (Berndt’s paintings are usually bought in a blink of an eye. If Frida were more well known, St. Frida would be sold by now.)

"Tree of Hope" by Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was a surrealist who painted deeply personal almost religious paintings, often depicting physical & emotional pain in a gory realistic way.

No one had ever painted PAIN like that before.

But amidst all the pain was glorious joy, prolific creativity and a profound insight into life and love.

Like Frida, I live with chronic physical pain, but I also have a frida-esque joy and gusto for life. I’m reading Role Models by John Waters and so I’ve been asking myself “Who are my role models? Who are those people who have influenced or inspired or helped me to live my life on my own odd terms?” Kahlo is definitely a role model. She’s a hero of mine for many reasons.

When she was hurting, she painted in bed and when she was able, she danced her ass off.

I totally get that.

When people try to force me to “take it easy” during my good times or to get outta bed on bad days, I just tell ’em to fuck off already cause I’m livin’ la vida Frida.

Livin’ la vida, Frida, bitches!

***Happy Birthday, Frida Kahlo. I love you. Thank you. For everything.***

7 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Frida!”

  1. I love Frida, too. I have lived with some disabilities, and say screw it, adjust my stance, and go for it. I am not one to sit back and shed the precious tear for that, love maybe, but not anything else.

    So here’s to you, thanks for the post, perhaps one of your friends will read it, who has the extra $1500.00 burning a hole in his pocket, loves you enough to give you the pleasure of owning it. Hum?
    Or perhaps that was your point?

    I’m kidding of course. 🙂

  2. alphabetfiend Says:

    O! I do love to see that Alice has come down the rabbit hole again. I always grin when I see a note from Alice… like alphabets carved into an old oak tree or spray paint graffiti on a bridge.

    Personally, I feel that my illness/disability has made deeper more fibrous roots or connections in my neuronal network. More time to sit still and think maybe? Not sure but I feel I am smarter and better for it. I certainly have an empathy that I didn’t have before. I’m certainly not shedding tears… unless I’m in the ER cause my cells have turned on me, I guess I’ve shed a few tears but not in a “boohoo woe is me” way. Because I know what the illness has given me.

    It has not given me $1500 however but that’s OK. I don’t have even one friend with extra bucks in the bank (such is the hedonism of the punk rock lifestyle.) So that was certainly not my intention. My intention was more like “Look at this cool thing! It isn’t mine but maybe it’s yours?” It’d be super cool if I could get a sale for Vicki Berndt or even just turn some people onto her cause she’s a great artist and more people should know who she is.

    Of course you were teasing, I know that. I just hope I’m not coming off like I’m poor-mouthing or gimmee gimmee cause I hate that and I’d hate to be that.

    Thanks for writing, Alice. I really do love it when you say Hi. Makes me feel like the Hatter himself… or perhaps the hookah-smoking caterpiller?

  3. Oh, I was afraid you may take it the wrong way so that is why I said kidding.I am glad you understood that. Whew!

    I am sending you this A tribute to Frida, but the song “Con Te partiro” (With you, I will leave) sung here by Andrea Bocelli, resonates to with your new posts too, I think.

    I hope you think so too.

  4. Opps, here is the link!

  5. alphabetfiend Says:

    Alice! You are so lovely! It’s 3am and I’m drowsy as a newborn but I just wanted to say hey. I will listen tomorrow when I’m actually awake. Yay! A treat to look forward to. Every day should start with a little treat like christmas in miniature. SMOOCH! love, the fiend

  6. […] new interwebby friend, Alice – who chose this video and song. She sent the link to me after a recent post on Frida Kahlo’s 103rd birthday. Maybe, if you are lucky, Alice will contribute her own thoughts/”gospel” in the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: