Friday, June 18, 2010
Frida Kahlo: Artist
In thinking about the many functions art serves to a culture, one must include healing wounds. Artists often take their pain and infuse it into their work, serving as a cathartic experience for both artist and viewer, hence the cliche of the tortured artist. One of my favorite surrealists of the twentieth century is Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Her tragedy is well-known. Having survived a severe trolley accicent where she suffered extensive injuries, including a crushed spinal chord and an impaled abdomen, Kahlo found an outlet for her grief and pain by making art. The results are powerful and raw, the kind of personal revelation seemingly missing from the other surrealists. Unlike the cerebral works of Magritte and Dali, Kahlo makes her pain our pain.
As Olivia's fundraiser has grown to portions beyond our wildest imagination, it signals that art which heals the soul can take many forms. Her images, both sophiticated and childlike, have given solace to those whose hearts ache for the birds suffering the Gulf area, including her own.