Wednesday, May 5, 2010

For Cinco de Mayo, a Shrine for Frida

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I made a shrine on Polyvore to honor my favorite Mexican personage, Frida Kahlo. I have never visited Mexico, but hope to some day, it is a beautiful country, and I want to visit Casa Azul, Frida's home. As with many other women artists the world over, I am fascinated by her art and life. Her dedication was awe-inspiring, as was her strength in the face of adversity. One of my favorite Frida books is the biography by Hayden Herrera, which I first read back in the '90s. The photo on the cover of the current edition is not of Frida herself, but of the actress Salma Hayek, who played her in Julie Taymor's biopic. How disrespectful!! Frida was cremated after her death, and the book tells that, when the corpse was wheeled into the crematorium, a blast of heat blew her into a sitting position and ignited her hair into a blazing halo. Frida's last bit of performance art! Well, maybe I should apologize for relating such a grisly story, but then, the Mexicans seem to be less intimidated by death than we are, so I don't think Frida would mind.

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