frida kahlo’s body cast paintings (art transforms)

Frida Kahlo painting her body cast

photo: by juan guzmán. courtesy collection galeria lópez quirog.

We’ve just discovered The Paris Review’s blog, and some cool and illuminating posts. A recent one by Leslie Jaimison is called Frida’s Corsets:

Frida Kahlo wore plaster corsets for most of her life because her spine was too weak to support itself. She painted them, naturally, covering them with pasted scraps of fabric and drawings of tigers, monkeys, plumed birds, a blood-red hammer and sickle, and streetcars like the one whose handrail rammed through her body when she was eighteen years old. The corsets remain to this day in her famous blue house—their embedded mirrors reflecting back our gazes, their collages bringing the whole world into stricture. In one, an open circle has been carved into the plaster like a skylight near the heart.

Kahlo, confined in terrible casts most of life, painted them, transformed them, took them over as much as she could, turned them into something beautiful, expressive; she turned them into art.

photo: throckmorton fine art

That’s what’s almost always possible for us to do, too, when we find ourselves bound or constrained or wounded; we can “fight back with beauty“.

Related posts: role model? the inimitable frida kahlo completely self-possessed
‘there is no such word as “no”‘
inner resources (via Eloise)
what to do when ‘stuff happens’?
the scar project
batali’s beautiful ‘fuck you’: a tale of 9/11

One Response to frida kahlo’s body cast paintings (art transforms)

  1. Peggy Markel 03.19.2012 at 6:22pm #

    love the ‘fight back with beauty’. It reminds me of Sandro the baker when he said it in Italian, ‘dobbiamo combattare colla bellezza!’and fed us fresh biscotti, apple cake and vin santo after 9/11.

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