Saturday, September 24, 2005

late night tube

I woke up at 3am-ish last night and couldn't get myself back to I popped on the tv, figuring there'd be something boring enough to get me nodding. I was amazed to find that there was interesting programming even in the wee hours. Even if it did keep me up until 5am. Sheesh.

I watched The Life And Times of Frieda Kahlo on PBS.

I'd seen plenty of her paintings over the years, and I studied some of her work for a "Women In The Arts" class in college. I didn't know much about her personal life, though. I only knew that she'd had an accident resulting in a lifetime of pain, I knew a bit about the Mexican Revolution and her political interests, and of course, I knew a bit about her relationship with Diego Rivera.

And, no, I never saw the movie.

This PBS program was very in depth, drawing deep relationships between her life and her art. I gained a better understanding of why her presence is so strong here in the San Francisco Bay Area (she spent several years here). It was also the first time I'd ever seen her on film, in motion. Up until now I'd only seen still photos of her, and I was very drawn in by her physical presence when she moved.

I'm certainly no Frieda Kahlo myself, that's for sure...but being a survivor of a motor vehicle accident, acquiring a broken body and a long rehabilitation, establishing an entirely new relationship to/with pain, having this in-one-split-second life change happen when I had just reached what I felt to be some sort of peak of achievment in my life (even though I believe we all have more than one), and being an artist needing to find a way to have my creative process be part of my healing process.....all things she and I have in common....I found myself really relating to many of her journal entries that were read during the program.

We also both created art in honor of the 1 year anniversaries of our accidents. Frieda (The Accident), me (Door Number 3).

Oh. And even though she didn't live the bulk of her life missing a body part, I never knew that she actually had become an amputee, losing part of her right leg to gangrene, the year before she died.


Anne said...
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