Frida Kahlo about her art said: «Since my subjects have always been my feelings, my mental states and the deep reactions that life has been producing in me, I have frequently objectified all this in images of myself, which were the most sincere thing I could do to express what I felt inside and outside of me».
These words perfectly express the creativity of this multifaceted and melancholy artist, the one who made self-portraits the means through which to express her inner life and her way of seeing the world.
Her emotions and feelings are the elements on which the exhibition unfolds: “Frida Kahlo – Chaos Inside” .
Frida and the Pain
Physical and emotional suffering has always been the center of the life of Magadalena Carmen Frida Kahlo Calderòn .
Born in 1907 in Coyocàn, on the outskirts of Mexico City, at the age of six she fell ill with polio and at 18 she became involved in the accident that would change her life. The bus on which she travels collides with a tram, the handrail breaks and passes through it from side to side. This will cause her a fracture of the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae, three fractures in the pelvis, eleven in the right foot, a dislocated left elbow and a deep wound in the abdomen.
Such injuries will force her to bed, as well as wearing a plaster bust for nine months. It will be the mother who has the idea of mounting a mirror on top of the latter so that, even if immobilized, she could see and paint herself.
The plaster bust that accompanies Frida’s life, in many stages of it, undergoes a transformation: from an object of rehabilitation to a symbol of the human being’s ability to adapt .
Almost always it’s in stillness that Frida finds her pictorial inspiration, while through her paintings she aspires to freedom and to escape from her pains.
The time spent at Casa Azul , an art workshop and home hearth, is characterized by an explosion of colors accompanied by disturbing elements such as the wheelchair next to the easel, the same one to which it was tied to be able to paint despite the pain.
Her “evil of living” becomes the primary source of inspiration for her art, the same one that she defines with these words: «I paint myself, because I spend a lot of time alone and I’m the person I know best. In the end, we are always returned to ourselves, as if in front of a mirror».
Frida and Love
Beyond the physical pain, one of the greatest torments that Frida has had to undergo comes from love and more precisely from the relationship with Diego Rivera.
21 years older than her the two met for the first time in 1922, where he worked at the Bolivar amphitheater, and only got married seven years later.
Their love story will be highly toxic and characterized by jealousies and betrayals that will lead them to divorce. However, they don’t last more than a year before they find each other and remarry.
The relationship between Diego and Frida is summed up very well in the latter’s words: «Why should I be foolish and touchy not to understand that all these are just adventures? After all, you and I love each other deeply and for this reason we are able to endure countless adventures, slamming doors, swearing, insults, international complaints – yet we will always love each other».
Frida Kahlo – Chaos Inside ( website )
Until 25 July 2021 at “La Fabbrica del Vapore”, Milan
From 11 September 2021 to 9 January 2022 at “Palazzo Fondi”, Naples
From 1 October 2022 to 26 February 2023 at the “Historical Museum of Artillery”, Turin