Friday, October 08, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~ The Pain of Frida Kahlo

Yesterday's parable on the theme of pain led me back to an Arty Farty Friday post from 2007, featuring Frida Kahlo. I've dusted off the cobwebs, added a video from YouTube and lightly edited it for a re-airing - it seems like a good fit at this blog-point.

Frida Kahlo was a woman in pain. It seeps through her paintings. Heck - it yells from them! She had good reason to be unhappy. She suffered from polio as a child, then from horrific injuries as a result of a 'bus accident in her teenage years. These injuries precluded her from bearing children, as well as leaving her with painful spinal problems. She married Diego Rivera, another artist, many years her senior. Her marriage was tumultuous, with infidelity both heterosexual and lesbian. It's hardly surprising that her paintings are not filled with joy. A couple of examples follow, but many more are shown in the video below, or in the link provided later.

Frida died in 1954, she had lost one leg to gangrene, suffered pneumonia, and was in frail health. The official cause of death was given as pulmonary embolism, though some suspected that she had died from overdose that may or may not have been accidental. (Information from Wikipedia).

Frida Kahlo was born on 6 July 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico.Time of birth is given as 8.30am at StarIQ. In a comment from "Rog", received when this was posted in 2007, ("Rog" = astrologer Roger Satterlee (his blogs can be accessed HERE and HERE) Rog said:

Frida was my first test case in which I tried to determine birth time by observing expressive seeming works. My chosen piece for comparison indicated a birth time of 8:30 AM. This occurred some years ago, and her birth time was not available on the web, but after the movie, "Frida" came out, her popularity brought out the birth certificate chasers like Lois Rodden of It was very exciting for me to see that my comparison 'works'...:)

Leo ascendant, Cancer Sun and Taurus Moon. Neptune lies within a degree of her Sun. Pluto and Venus are within a degree of each other in Gemini. Mars is 3 degrees from Uranus in Capricorn. Neptune/Sun opposed by Mars/Uranus, and a Pluto/Venus conjunction looks, to me, a very challenging configuration! I learned for myself, some years ago, exactly how difficult even a transiting Pluto conjunct natal Venus can be, so how it feels to have the conjunction natally, I do not want to even try to imagine! It was a blessing that Frida found some release for her pain and frustration through her surreal paintings.

As a sidelight, astrologer Nick Best's article,"Two Peas In a Pod or Saturn in Pisces" appears at Star IQ. It's an astrological comparison of Frida Kahlo and Salma Hyek, the actress who played her in a movie biography. Natal charts for both Frida and Salma are included, with a comparison of the two. Nick Best points out that in both charts Saturn lies at the same degree of Pisces. I noticed that the general shape of the two charts is quite similar. So...this is another instance, (as in the cases of Ed Harris/Jackson Pollock and Kirk Douglas/ Van Gogh) where astrology links artist and actor.

Website for more illustrations and further information on Frida Kahlo.

The works of Frida and the song La Llorona:
(La Llorona, translated from the Spanish = The Weeping Woman)


Wisewebwoman said...

I had the pleasure of touring her house in Mexico City, T and view the paintings and the bed where she was incarcerated for a lot of her life (mirror underneath the canopy so she could work). I can still recall the joyful colours throughout and her gorgeous kitchen.
I find this woman so inspiring. On every level.

anthonynorth said...

Sometimes the best art comes from pain and adversity.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ What a treat that would have been!

While I certainly admire her courage, I tend to recoil from most of her paintings due to subject matter. She painted as a release, not as entertainment for others, so her choice of subject matter is hardly surprising.

Twilight said...

anthonynorth ~~~ I'm not sure about that - considering what I've just commented to WWW. :-)

Maybe in some circumstances you're right, and, again what is considered good art is subjective.
I like to feel uplifted or even informed by a painting, or photograph. Pain has to be dealt with at times for all of us, but (for me) not by choice in an art gallery.