Fifty years after her death, the much-guarded journal of the adored painter Frida Kahlo has been released. Half illustration, half text, the book offers an intimate look into a brilliant yet troubled mind.
Then I’d read the story behind each painting and become stunned by its genius.
For instance, there’s a painting of her lying in bed with a large cone sticking out of her mouth, and inside the cone is vile-looking meat. It’s disturbing, to be honest with you. Come to find out, when her health was failing and her appetite non-existent, her doctor force-fed her pureed fatty meat through a cone. The title of the painting is “Without Hope.”
Wow. As soon as I understood the painting, I felt like I also fully understood how she felt as that disgusting food was shoved down her throat. It’s stunning.
But like I was saying, there was a specific moment when I did a 180 and decided to love her. It was shortly before her death when a gallery hosted her last art showing. No one thought she’d be able to make it, but she got an ambulance to take her to the gallery where a bed was set up for her. Amazing! She never gave up.
The journal is fascinating because I don’t think it was meant for anyone to see, and therefore doesn’t make coherent sense. For me, that makes it fun. It’s a puzzle to figure out. For instance, some people argue that her diary indicates that she committed suicide; I believe it proves that she did not. Also, she wrote a bunch of love letters, and then later in a different colored ink wrote in “Diego” at the top (her husband’s name). Why add it in later? Were the love letters really about him?
It’s also a beautiful journal. While all her paintings are done in a style specific to her, her journal is more liberating, and it contains works of art unlike anything you’ve seen her do before.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves Frida, or who loves art, or who is fascinated by living with disabilities, or who is human.
Similar Items You Might Enjoy
After a painful divorce, Elizabeth Gilbert went on a year-long journey of healing and self-discovery in Italy, India, and Bali.
Her genius – and it truly is genius – is how she can express her thoughts while at the same time allowing you to have your own and that be okay. The point isn't to prove herself right; the point is to get us thinking. Somehow even if we don't come to the same conclusions as her, we agree with the path she takes to find them, and we're grateful that she took us on the journey.
And by the way, I have never wanted to learn to meditate more than I did after reading this book. Someday, I want to disappear into a Buddhist retreat for months just like she did. And really, if a writer can make something as boring as another person meditating so exciting… that’s dang good writing.
Did you read Eat, Pray, Love? What did you think of it?
Books You Might Enjoy
This is a memoir about Corrie Ten Boom, whose family hid Jews in their house to keep them out of concentration camps. Sounds like an ordinary WWII book? It’s not.
By the time I finished reading her book of selflessness and bottomless love, I felt compelled to give away everything I own. I didn’t, but the compulsion was definitely there. Instead, I give away copies of her book whenever I get the chance; I need to just buy ten of them now so I can have a ready stock on my bookshelf.
The book is a Christian book, which I liked because she uses Jesus as a model of how to emulate Christ-like behavior. Without his influence in her life, she would not have been the same person and this would not have been the same book. However, her experiences are so universal that this book would appeal to anyone.
Have you read The Hiding Place? What did you think?
Similar Books You Might Enjoy