I will have to stop peeling my skin and finding other people’s skins…a patch here, a patch there.
Saw snatches of Frida again. Then found more of her. They say her self-portraits were unsparing. Frida was a woman who let that trace of a moustache stay, the fuzz resonant of an adolescent boy’s. But she is so woman, so perfectly formed in her tragedy, so self-destructive…when I look her in the eye, I want to poke into the retina, go behind it and see through her eyes. I know I will see what she sees.
Now. go beyond Frida the person and look at her as an objective artist doing other paintings. She was once commissioned to do a portrait of the actress Dorothy Hale that was to be gifted to her mother; Hale had jumped from her high-rise apartment wearing a black dress and a corsage of small yellow roses.
Frida did something extremely literal. In The Suicide of Dorothy Hale she recreated that scene, which has been described thus:
- Freda’s painting documents the various stages of Dorothy's fall, placing the corpse at the bottom on a stage-like platform in the foreground. At the bottom, blood red lettering details the tragic event: "In New York City on the 21st of October 1938, at 6:00 in the morning, Dorothy Hale committed suicide by throwing herself from a very high window in the Hampshire House. In her memory [...], this retablo was executed by Frida Kahlo."
I do not like in your face kind of art. Would this qualify? And if it does, then why am I fascinated? Because I think of this as beyond art. It is capturing human history.
When Frida painted Hale it is said she was separated from her partner and was thinking about suicide. Was it reflective of her? The term “male desertion” is mentioned in some analysis.
I think she was really deserting herself.
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Painting titled The Suicide of Dorothy Hale by Frida Kahlo