Poetry: London

Portraits of Frida

Frida Kahlo: Portraits of an Icon
This selection of fifty photographic portraits of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-54) spans her life. They follow the artist’s transition from precocious child to famous artist, documented by many leading photographers of the twentieth century, including Lola and Manuel Bravo, Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham.
[The National Portrait Gallery, London]

–Nickolas Murray had an affair with Frida during her mid-20’s. He was a New York based photographer and took the colored photographs in the exhibit. The rest were in Black and White. During my viewing of the exhibit, this is how I saw Frida…

beautiful
serious
contemplative

inside herself
staring into the viewer
a smile beneath closed lips

silent
crown of hair
smirk behind flowers

colorful, bright
traditional
mexican dress

long,
flowing
flowery skirts

an understanding of a world
shared by women
oppressed by their men
?

an inner sadness
trying to be free
from the body of a corset

“Surrealism is the magic surprise of finding a lion in a wardrobe where you were sure of finding shirts.” Frida Kahlo

June 2005

re-visiting poetry.com

a wasted individual
suddenly insecure
stealing wishes
off a begging charlatan
brainwashing you with silky days
becoming resentful
you lose

May 2005

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