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