My fascination with Frida Kahlo began when my eyes were finally opened to her art. Through a little booklet called “I Painted My Own Reality” designed by Bret Granato, and given to me by my mentor Nicole D. Sconiers, I came in touch with Frida’s story and artwork.
I had never really observed any of Frida’s art. My first impression of her work though, was a shock; I thought her art too harsh, too explicit, and too deep. I couldn’t unravel her mystery.
The first painting of Frida’s that unfroze an ocean in me was “What the Water Gave Me.” With its precision and detail, I immediately felt drawn into this world. Frida’s pain seemed something alive, tragic, and beautiful. Obviously, I fell in love.
Two years after being diagnosed with a mental illness, I fell sick again in 2007. During my suffering, I kept Frida in mind; I felt connected to her, though in no way am I comparing myself to Frida.
Frida has become a sort of spiritual mother and muse for me. I cannot hope to do her justice, but I can hope that she may smile down upon me from heaven, and one day perhaps -- hear from Frida’s own lips: “Gracias, Estéfani.”
Gracias Frida querida!
Frida In My Soul
The day the ambulance took me to the hospital they sat me on a high metal wheelchair. They strapped me up. Immediately, I felt like Frida Kahlo’s painting, where she wears a surgical brace and has metal stuck in her body: “The Broken Column.”
The ambulance moved on slowly, smoothly, almost like a magic carpet. Sitting inside the ambulance, I felt like Frida when riding on her bed to the art show. She wasn’t supposed to go to; her doctor had warned her she needed to repose.
Vuelve a la Vida
Did your life flash before you, broken ballerina?
Did you bargain with God?
Did He show you your brush?
Did your memories slip, oh magdalena?
Did your barrio - Coyoacán make you run back home?
Did you see Diego waving and waiting for you?
Did you see all the pain that you’d have to go through?
The flowers, the fetuses pink, the portraits?
The surgeries, braces, corsets, broken bones?
The treachery, tears, the cold wall, the rat race?
The ribbons of red, the loneliest years?
It will hurt immensely, but love will carry you through
Hurry Frida - golden dancer,