This is a homage to Frida Kahlo. A tree of life. A tree of hope. Frida, the victim of a tragic bus accident hangs upside down immobilized by a rigid plaster corset. Frida is tormented by her inability to bear children, tortured by its psychological effects and by her physical and emotional scars. Her leg, her foot, her spine and pelvis have all been injured. Like a flower cut from its life source, she is slowly dying.
The Frida on the bottom begins to form roots resembling wings. Here she is nourished by the Earth and strengthened by the blood which trickles down like ribbons holding on to memories which pain her. The snail, a fragment taken form Frida Kahlo's : Henry ford Hospital painting, 1932, represents her frustration at the slowness of her healing. Frida's hair flows down to become an enclosure, a dark hiding place for one of her many physical and emotional agonies, the memory of her little Diego who will never exist. Here he sleeps on a "nest" floating on a pool of tears that represents her deep sorrow. Lit by stars, the memory is kept alive.
With an arrow (a triangle) we move up the center of the painting. Frida emerges from this tree, with a broken column crushing this second "nest" of golden eggs. Frida, posed like a goddess, is painted eternally youthful and immortal. Alejandro Gomez Arias writes, “ A new Frida began to die and to live.” Frida spent a great deal of time in her bed recovering so I have placed her on a pillow woven with the leaves of a tree and I have given her wings to fly with since in her
diary she writes...”Pies para que los quiero si tengo alas pa'volar.” Her bleeding heart she displays like a trophy ... her
pain manifested through a paintbrush. Its dripping blood gives life to a cactus flower.
On the right there is a snake representing evil, not only sin and temptation but also pain and suffering that never left her. The snake's head is a claw, ready to snatch the "wounded deer" at any moment. Under the deer are fallopian tubes representing fertility. Frida was notorious for her bisexual escapades so the deer is encased in an ovary that is transformed into male sexual organs. Always on her mind is her beloved Diego, who sits like a naked baby Buddha on Frida’s hair wrap, the third “nest.” Diego holds a flame of life in one hand and on his forehead is a third eye signaling her perception of his great wisdom. Next to Diego is a butterfly representing the Resurrection. Frida’s “child” is alive. It is Diego himself. The branches to the left profile the belly of a pregnant woman broken but bearing milk. Nature was nurturing to Frida . The umbilical cord signifies her maternal fulfillment outside herself. The roses are a crown for Frida the martyr. The hummingbird is delicate and alive, no longer a charm worn around Frida’s neck. Frida Kahlo’s infirmities made her different from others but her spirit was magnetic and remains so. Frida remained dauntless, undefeated and unbroken.
~ Laura Vazquez Rodriguez