Considered one of the Mexico’s greatest artist, Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyocoan, Mexico City, Mexico. She grew up in the family’s home where was later referred as the Blue House or Casa Azul. He father is a German descendant and photographer. He immigrated to Mexico where he met and married her mother Matilde. Her mother is half Amerindian and half Spanish. Frida Kahlo has two older sisters and one younger sister.
Frida Kahlo has poor health in her childhood. She contracted polio at age of 6 and had to be bedridden for nine months. This disease caused her right leg and food grow much thinner than her left one. She limped after she recovered from the polio. She has been wearing long skirts to cover that for the rest of her life. Her father encouraged her to do lots of sports to help her recover. She played soccer, went swimming, and even did wrestle, which is very unusual at that time for a girl. She has kept a very close relationship with her father for her whole life.
Frida Kahlo attended the renowned National Preparatory School in Mexico city in year of 1922. There are only thirty-five female students enrolled in that school and she soon became famous for her outspokenness and bravery. At this school she first met the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera for the first time. Rivera at that time was working on a mural called The Creation on the school campus. Frida often watched it and she told a friend she will marry him someday.
At the same year, Kahlo joined a gang of students which shared the similar political and intellectual views. She fell in love with the leader Alejandro Gomez Arias. On a September afternoon when she traveled with Gomez Arias on a bus the tragic accident happened. The bus collided with a streetcar and Frida Kahlo was seriously injured. A steel handrail impaled her through the hip. Her spine and pelvis are fractured and this accident left her in a great deal of pain, both physically and physiologically.
She was injured so badly and had to stay in the Red Cross Hospital in Mexico City for several weeks. After that she returned home for further recovery. She had to wear full body cast for three months. To kill the time and alleviate the pain, she started painting and finished her first first self-portrait the following year. Frida Kahlo once said, “I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best”. Her parents encouraged her to paint and made a special easel made for her so she could paint in bed. They also gave her brushes and boxes of paints.
Frida Kahlo reconnected with Rivera in 1928. She asked him to evaluate her work and he encouraged her. The two soon started the romantic relationship. Despite her mother’s objection, Frida and Diego Rivera got married in the next year. During their earlier years as a married couple, Frida had to move a lot based on Diego’s work. In 1930, they lived in San Francisco, Calfonia. Then they moved to New York City for Rivera’s artwork show at Museum of Modern Art. They later moved to Detroit while Diego Rivera worked for Detroit Institute of Arts.
In 1932, Kahlo added more realistic and surrealistic components in her painting style. In the painting titledHenry Ford Hospital(1932), Frida Kahlo lied on a hospital bed naked and was surrounded with a few things floating around, which includes a fetus, a flower, a pelvis, a snail, all connected by veins. This painting was an expression of her feelings about her second miscarriage. It is as personal as her other self-portraits.
In 1933, Kahlo was living in New York City with husband Diego Rivera. Rivera was commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller to create a mural named as Man at the Crossroads at Rockefeller Center. Rivera tried to include Vladimir Lenin in the painting, who is a communist leader. Rockefeller stopped his work and that part was painted over. The couple had to move back to Mexico after this incident. They returned and live in San Angel, Mexico.
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rievea’s marriage is not an usual one. They had been keeping separate homes and studios for all those years. Diego had so many affairs and one of that was with Kahlo’s sister Cristina. Frida Kahlo was so sad and she cut off her long hair to show her desperation to the betrayal. She has been longed for children but she cannot bear one due to the bus accident. She was heartbroken when she experienced a second miscarriage in 1934. Kahlo and Rivera has been separated for a few times but they always went back together. In 1937 they helped Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia. Leon Trotsky is a exiled communist and rival of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Kahlo and Rivera welcomed the couple together and let them stay at her Blue House. Kahlo also had a brief affair with Leon Trotsky when the couple stayed at her house.
In 1938, Frida Kahlo became friend of Andre Breton, who is one of the primary figures of Surrealism movement. Frida said she never considered herself as a Surrealist “until André Breton came to Mexico and told me I was one.” She also wrote, “Really I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself”. “Since my subjects have always been my sensations, my states of mind and the profound reactions that life has been producing in me, I have frequently objectified all this in figures of myself, which were the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.”
In the same year, she had an exhibition at New York City gallery. She sold some of her paintings and got two commissions. One of that is from Clare Boothe Luce to paint her friend Dorothy Hale who committed suicide. She painted The Suicide of Dorothy Hale (1939), which tells the story of Dorothy’s tragic leap. The patron Luce was horrified and almost destroyed this painting.
The next year, 1939, Kahlo was invited by Andre Breton and went to Paris. Her works are exhibited there and she is befriended with artists such as Marc Chagalland Pablo Picasso. She and Rivera got divorced that year and she painted one of her most famous painting, The Two Fridas(1939).
But soon Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera remarried in 1940. The second marriage is about the same as the first one. They still keep separate lives and houses. Both of them had infidelities with other people during the marriage. Kahlo received a commission from the Mexican government for five portraits of important Mexican women in 1941, but she was unable to finish the project. She lost her beloved father that year and continued to suffer from chronic health problems. Despite her personal challenges, her work continued to grow in popularity and was included in numerous group shows around this time.
In the year of 1944, Frida Kahlo painted one of her most famous portrait, The Broken Column. In this painting she depicted herself naked and split down the middle. Her spine are shattered like column. She wears a surgical brace and there are nails all through her body, which is the indication of the consistent pain she went through. In this painting, Frida expressed her physical challenges by her art. During that time, she had a few surgeries and had to wear special corsets to protect her back spine. She seeks lots of medical treatment for her chronic pain but nothing really worked.
Her health condition has been worsening in 1950. That year she was diagnosed with gangrene in her right foot. She became bedridden for the next nine month and had to stay in hospital and had several surgeries. But with great persistence, Frida Kahlo continued to work and paint. In the year of 1953, she had a solo exhibition in Mexican. Although she had limited mobility at that time, she showed up on the exhibition’s opening ceremony. She arrived by ambulance, and welcomed the attendees, celebrated the ceremony in a bed the gallery set up for her. A few months later, she had to accept another surgery. Part of her right leg got amputated to stop the gangrene.
With the poor physical condition, she is also deeply depressed. She even had a inclination for suicide. Frida Kahlo has been out and in hospital during that year. But despite her health issues, she has been active with the political movement. She showed up at the demonstration against US backed overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala on July 2. This is her last public appearance. About one week after her 47th birthday, Frida Kahlo passed away at her beloved Bule House. She was publicly reported to die of a pulmonary embolism, but there are speculation which was saying she died of a possible suicide.
Frida Kahlo’s fame has been growing after her death. Her Blue House was opened as a museum in the year of 1958. In 1970s the interest on her work and life are renewed due to the feminist movement, since she was viewed as an icon of female creativity. In 1983, Hayden Herrera published his book on her, A Biography of Frida Kahlo, which drew more attention from the public to this great artist. In the year of 2002, a movie named Frida was released, staring alma Hayek as Frida Kahlo and Alfred Molina as Diego Rivera. This movie was nominated for six Academy Awards and won for Best Makeup and Original Score.
When I was a picker of vintage on a regular i ran across an older black man noticed his house stood out from any others, I decided to stop and ask him why was all the string up around his house The string he told me were to keep birds out of his garden the garden being mostly weeds planted neatly in rows in some areas.. I noticed rows of light bulbs separating path from his weed garden I have always used rocks.. I didnt ask him why.. I asked him if I could take pictures he said yes never telling me others had done stories on him.. he did say he and his wife would sit on the front porch in the evenings together and that she had passed away recently.. I felt sad for him.. when I went back noticed a clock on a pole out side in the front yard turned towards the road?? and going to the front porched I noticed articles pinned to the wall people had done on him.. I thought how cool doesn’t matter what others think, he had a reason and that’s all that mattered to him..
Tattooed on my arm To Thine Own Self Be True by Shakespeare
by Raymond Guest of Recycled Salvage Design
Summary – My life
Raised in a violent home mother had left my dad because he was an alcoholic moved from West Texas to East Texas, there she found second soon to be husband who owned a couple of bars was a bookie as well and loved the ladies was also an alcoholic, from the beginning I didn’t like him he didn’t like me this was around 7 years old I was the oldest had a younger brother. The day they were married, I called him by his name he took me out of view of the family said you should call me Dad and I replied but you aren’t my dad, he hit me as if he were a grown man, he asked who am I and I replied with his name. This was the beginning
After many beatings being told would never amount to anything I was worthless couldn’t do a thing right, can remember him beating me because I wasn’t digging a hole right in the dirt with a shovel.Just to give an example, I was the scapegoat, is very hard to break the cycle of thinking. It would take me a life time of drugs alcohol and jails to do so, to name a few.
I found my answer drugs and alcohol with them I could escape they made me powerful not caring, I would be the scapegoat and I would be damn good at it I quit being scared that lost child.
I will write about bits and pieces as they come to mind, please be patient with me I am no scholar writing skills are poor, my own fault really I skipped and was expelled most of my 9th grade school year didn’t learn much was so busy self Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Got a Ged in Rusk State Hospital at age of 17, I had been court committed for the 2nd time for drugs and alcohol, even today I believe they let me pass that test to boost my self esteem.
An old man told me 25 years ago he said ” son you are a story teller, use your past to help others maybe they wont make the same mistakes you made, is Gods will for us to help other see if you are helping then you aren’t hurting them.” This was the only man in my life I ever slowed down to listen for a minute, can remember first time we stumbled into each other, actually truth is I was in Alcoholics Anonymous I got a sponsor to help guide me sobering up, he saw quickly I was a little much for him I think I scared him because of some of the people I had been dealing with in the drug world they werent nice people, he passed me on to his sponsor we will call him Frank, a couple of months later that one told me I should start seeing his sponsor, he got my attention, Loren B. I heard the things he was saying to me then, but took me years to truly understand. I never really got the chance to say thank you to him he helped many. But after a year of his teachings I had to get back to my mission of self destructing after all. I was the scapegoat in my family.
I am telling my story so people can better understand my art, a self taught artist Oct 2013 taught self to weld, my life is finally making sense due to art, maybe at last I can experience some joy, maybe heal as well. I don’t want pity, or people to feel sorry for me, most of my life is poor decisions, I am accountable today. But never judge a book by it’s cover there is always more to the story than the eyes can see.
only book I can remember really loving, I couldn’t seem to put it down
The Outsiders by S.E.Hinton Dally a character in this book was my hero but maybe I am much like the brother Pony I as well am dealing with all my tragedies and frustrations by writing making them public
A man used to tell me ” Don’t give up before the miracle happens “
We arrived at the doors of Baylor Rehab in Dallas texas didn’t take advice of the Dr at the Hospital having suggested I should go to a nursing home wasn’t any use in trying I would never walk again. They took me to my room in a wheel chair I was miserable so helpless and hated being seen as a cripple. Got to my room went to sleep they gave me a buzzer to call for help if I need it.
Next morning came they came and told me class for physical therapy would start at 8:30, I told them I wouldn’t be going see I was getting on my pity pot and having a big party and wasn’t going to do those stupid classes they were useless anyway. I missed the whole day. The next morning came they told me the same thing I told them I wouldn’t be going this day either, about 30 minutes later a physical therapist assistant came to my bed started small talk with me asking if I was ok, I told him yes was really wanting him to leave. He then said he wanted to do something do I mind and before I could say anything he was stretching my foot and leg. I thought who does this man think he is and he left. This was the beginning..
The next morning they came said I would be starting classes at 8:30 I said ok, see I had thought about it all night if I was going to have to live then I would do all I could to get out of the wheel chair and do those stupid exercises. My first class was with the man who came to my bed the day before. I asked him as he was throwing my around like a rag doll and stretching my muscles I asked what are the chances I will ever walk again? his reply “well that is totally up to you I can’t answer that” not the answer I was seeking not at all.
So I started going to classes getting visitors after 2 months my arms began to slowly work my fingers then my arms I was very weak. But I started pushing my own wheel chair a little but was still weak try to building upper strength. The survivor or rebel was waking see I started breaking the rules, they wanted me to call for help to go to the bathroom shower shave etc.. I started pulling my self up on the guard rail on the wall of the hospital room I would carry myself to the bathroom maneuver self in to shower etc. I fell a few times the dr would scold me telling me I need to call the nurses because the bullet in my head might move and I may die. I can remember telling them once if they had better looking nurses I would probably let them bath me and to be honest I didn’t really care if I died the way I saw it is I didn’t want to live this way I would take my chances with the bullet moving.
The day came when I showed signs of walking not very well but was supporting my weight, and they released me 5 months after I was admitted, I can remember being very scared they gave me a cane but I was so weak barely make 20 steps and have to sit down. But I didn’t give up I did throw the cane away I didn’t want to look like a cripple, I was hardheaded I guess
The moral of this story is they may know about medicine, but know nothing of human spirit as well spirituality
Just because they say its so doesn’t make it so….. To Be Continued
September of 1992 a friend and I were at my house, she wanted to come help me pack my belongings I was moving to Austin Texas in a few days, was distracted from our mission of packing and began kissing taking off clothes you know the rest of story, when 2 boys were walking the streets decided they would break into my house began looking through my windows they watched us for a while they were 11 and 17 year old african americans, the oldest got excited decided he wanted some of that white girl as it stated in the police reports.
They entered the house from opposite end of house entered the room our backs to them, the 17 year old shot me in the hip, I heard the noise turned to see them yelling at me to get on the floor white boy get on the floor, I was shocked to see 2 kids in my house while I was having sex them yelling at me to get on the floor. I hadn’t realized I had been shot, he shot by my foot because I wouldnt do as they commanded and I realized then he had a gun then started down on my hands and knees he stepped over me shot me twice in the head, once in the top or crown bullet rest in the bottom center of my brain the other went in the temple bounced around through roof of mouth and I swallowed it..
I was still awake could only mumble words couldn’t move I suffered from brain trauma. The 17-year-old gave the gun to the 11-year old boy to guard me make sure I didn’t try to stop him.. I couldn’t I was paralyzed from the neck down. He took the girl my friend to the bedroom and raped her. The statements say the 11-year-old got me Tylenol, I told him I had a headache while laying motionless in the floor while my friend was being raped by 17-year old male. When they came from bedroom I had passed out I was making a moaning noise in the floor 17-year-old said, I am going to put this white boy out of his misery pointed the gun at my head pulled the trigger it misfired then pointed it at the girl it misfired again..
They got me to the hospital 3 hours later.. the Doctors said I wouldn’t make it through the night.. believe they told my mom to say her goodbyes to me.. and I lived.. was in ICU for 2 weeks my brain swollen it was touch and go.. they said I kept trying to pull the tubes out and leave.. I hate hospitals.. smile
When I came to couldn’t remember what happened police had a guard on my door a couple of days they were unsure of what happened they didn’t believe the girls story was so crazy.. A couple of months before I had taken a girl from a outlaw biker gang the Bandittos put her in a drug treatment rehab, the bikers had her strung out on drugs had been raping her and selling her to their buddies for sexual gratification. So police thought maybe it was a hit. As well I had been a very bad boy my self in the past.. they were unsure..
Truth is I had just celebrated 2 years clean and sober in Alcoholics Anonymous, I should have been shot a hundred times when using, I was doing good had gone to school to be a Drug Alcohol Counselor and this happens!
I kept asking if I had been in a fight or maybe a car wreck, my mother kept telling me I had been shot in the head but I couldn’t comprehend that it made no sense was confused like a little boy.. I had no memory of what happened.. I could talk or mumble but couldn’t function from my neck down.. They tried to put me in a nursing home said I would never walk again and that I should be grateful to at least be alive.. I couldn’t accept, I wasn’t grateful was mad at God for letting this happen to me.. I didn’t want to be left to live my life in a wheel chair would have rather died..To Be Continued
Old Friend Matt – Raymond! You prolly don’t remember me but we both had Guinda Cox and were in jail the same time around ten years ago. Anyway you had a lot of wisdom you shared with me. We hung out several times when we got out. You were picking then too. Bro I never had the chance but thank you. I appreciate everything you did and all the talks we had. I’m glad you’re doing good. I just sometimes remember the people that helped me along the way. Now that I’ve had my life together now for a long time. Married, and a little boy. Thanks again
Raymond Guest Me – I remember you gotten a little bit older as we all have… man that is so good to hear you have it together and maybe i had a small part in it… of course lol.. a lady told me years ago when I was 17 in rusk state hospital the drinking side.. she said if you would just take a one quarter of the energy you are putting into staying messed up into doing good would be no stopping you.. a lot easier staying clean for me than staying messed up.. still have life but so far no cops.. i am jealous looking at your picture beautiful wife and cute baby.. you have it going on and should be thankful every night.. I am not wise just repeat what others have told me.. Matt you are a miracle and put a smile on my face thank you.. Remember a lot of those guys have died or spending lives in prison that we were in there with, couldn’t break the cycle for one reason or another.. lets stay in touch..
I am going to post this may help someone