Pain is not just a feeling. It has a color, a look, a pattern. Even in color, one is able to document one’s image, when in pain. Through pain, one’s healing path is revealed. Different pictures or stories of the journey towards healing can be showcased through the performance of visual artistry. There is something Universal and intrinsic in how we are able to reflect invisible energies we are feel and experience onto a blanket canvas. Many times its the silent visual, which allows us to speak on a greater scale. Conveying more than what terms, describing our sensory, can proclaim. The visual provides us with an honorary experience to simply sit and observe. Baring witness to every color, shape, or design which illuminates the feelings. Presenting them for all to see; making the experiences that more clear.
When we examine the work of Frida Kahlo, we craftly observe how she documented her pain and healing experiences, through her paintings. Her graphics demonstrated how she was in making sure that observers did not muddy her experiences. No sugar coating. No glamorizing. Raw and uncut. Its why the world fell in love with her.
A unique woman, and millennials ahead of the experiences. It was her work which serves as living proof in the practice of being truthful to one’s identity and experiences. Her spirit is that of a wild wind. One who would explore forbidden territory, and speak on what few would say. The foundation of her truth is rooted in her audacious persona, in expressing that she was not always ok. Reminding us when she was in pain. There was no shame in capturing that pain. Her courage in revealing her own humanity, and story to re-covery, gave her the wisdom and experience in being vocal on other societal issues.
Paintings such as “The Broken Column” (La Columna De Rota), “My Nursemaid and I,” (Mi Enfermera Y Yo), “The Two Frida’s,” (Las Dos Frida’s), “Without Hope,” and others (Sin Esperanza) are a few of those well-known works, which highlights the physical and emotional scars from her accident in childhood. An accident that nearly paralyzed her; leaving doubts as to whether she would ever walk again.
When we examine and study the work of Frida Kahlo, it becomes obvious that she never fully recovered from her traumatic experiences. Yet, with each painting, with every stroke of the brush, she found her coping mechanism and mental therapy. She became a master in releasing her pain. The palette is where she was able to “lay her burdens down.” She never lied to herself. Even further, she did not lie to her audience. Truth was the foundation of her healing. From losing her mother and her own child, the pain was crafted. It was reflected in the visual. Every piece. Every sensitivity. Everything happening in the inside was painted for the. . .out!
Dealing with any physical pains or handicaps is also related to mental health. Past, traumatic experiences greatly impacts our mental health. Frida Kahlo was a living testimony to such. If we are even more observant, we can proclaim that Frida Kahlo initiated a mental health movement in North America, long before the stringing of such terminology came into being.
We have spoken about the revealing of our mental health struggles through words. And, with Frida Kahlo, we have one of a few examples, where the care of one’s mental health was brought to the world of high art. What she did was groundbreaking. The greatness of Frida Kahlo is that she gave artists permission to be human. Permission to grieve, and allow their pain (and personal stories) to be the main theme of visual artistry. No longer were artists simply entertainers of those who wanted to receive “good vibes” from the talent of others. The privileged, who contracted artists to imprint and document their stories of fairytale’s perfection. Frida Kahlo shook that world. Through her work, the artist directly benefited from their talent. It is in Frida’s work where the artist reclaims their humanity. The work comforts the artist, for once. Her paintings bring forth a living testament to the struggle of many artists, who had to wear the masks, in order to sell their art. Aterall, who wants to hear an artist’s painful reality? How they grapple with that pain? The manners in which they have to hide their lives so that others can be entertained. So that others can live in their fantasies; receiving illusions that visual artistry is only a world of magic. A world, supposedly, in which reality is not allowed to exist. Well, through the masterpieces of Frida Kahlo, reality is reflected in the fiction. Fiction and the imaginary elevate the reality. They exaggerate reality to such a degree, that viewers feel the realness in the surrealism or fictional worlds. Frida Kahlo painted her pain, and made it art! Respectable art. Art was transformed. The artist’s personal life, pains, and ugliness, becomes the scenary of adoration. Kahlo proved that such art could be accepted. Accepted and forcing the world to transform their perspectives of “respectable art.”
As we continue to reflect on the world of Frida Kahlo, we are more challenged to understanding how pain can be neutralized. So as long as we place it outside. Purging it from the interior, so that are inner being does not reflect the ugliness of the pain we have captured. Its better to observe our transformation out of mental suffering, as opposed to protecting it, through our silence and wearing of the mask. Furthermore, its a great practice of protecting and re-vitalizing our healing. Pusing the reality into the fiction, so that we can truly experience the fiction in our realities. One of the fascinations of transitioning into different facets of time. Transitioning time, for a healthier time, with our mental wellness. . .time after time!
For More Information On Frida Kahlo, you can click on the followin link: https://www.frida-kahlo-foundation.org/ #ItsOkNotToBeOk