Frida’s last words on her last painting (cut watermelon) were “viva la vida” which translates to “long live life.” She didn’t have as many years in her life as she should have but the sheer vivacity of the life in her years was outrageous. Everything she did and said was a bold and fearless statement. Her artistic breaths were expressions of pain and longing. Her paintings were expressions of the morbid pain she always felt; physical and emotional. I believe Frida to be an extraordinary human being. She was scandalous, promiscuous, spontaneous, creative and fearless by nature. Her paintings are morbid and it’s impossible not to feel the juxtaposing mixture of life and death: intertwined yet somehow complementary. A tomboy as a child, a rebellious prankster as a teenager, a lovestruck young woman and then she grew ever more pained, except for her pockets of happiness with her on-and-off husband, Diego Rivera. And even when she was in hard times, she utilized her anguish to create.
I became acquainted with Frida Kahlo in Spanish class through a series of biographical video clips and was kind of fascinated with her life. I was fascinated with how much she loved Diego and when she became a fully-fledged, independent artist and traveled around the world. And she hated Paris and did not wish to label herself as a surrealist, despite other artists wanting to categorize her a s a surrealist painter. She said “they thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” This defines Frida. She is literally an outstanding individual; she brazenly stood out.
I would not say that Frida Kahlo is my new role model, gosh no. But she is definitely an icon. She is an icon because of the way she chose to express her pain and drink to life in every way possible. Frida is a woman who inspires me to be bold and to not be afraid of being a little crazy; to be brazen and use my life as my own canvas. It really is fear that holds us back. Frida had fear, I am sure, but it wasn’t an obstacle… it was a tool. Someday I’ll be able to transcend my own adversities like Frida Kahlo. Someday, I’ll be satisfied with the life I have lived.