Frida had not been one of my favorite artists over the years, but when there was an exhibit of her work this close to me, I was compelled to go. I can say with all honesty that it is not her art that I am most attracted to. In fact as far as most surrealism goes, I am just not a big fan. It is a personal taste I suspect. But what I do admire and covet about Frida, is her “not quitting”. Through polio, a life altering bus accident that sent a metal bar completely through her body, and multiple miscarriages as a result of those injuries…..she kept painting, kept living, smoking, drinking, dancing, and making love. She kept on with her life, ALL of her life and made it mean something. She never let the calamities of her body alter her life’s purpose. I think, and she actually said as much, that she was able to live two Frida’s. The first Frida “creative” was an artist that had no boundaries. The second Frida lived a life that most would find outrageous, irreverent, reckless, immoral and the list goes on and on if you look at her behavior from a religious and political point of view. But from life's point of view it was always full and passionate. I suspect when she died at 47 the only thing she really wanted was to have a child, but I felt after seeing her work that, even though childless, she died without regret.
To spend the day with some of her work and drink in her story was inspiring to me on so many levels! To finish that day by sitting on a 2nd floor balcony with beer in hand, overlooking the Tampa Bay and the skyline bridge way off in the distance, and all of the life happening on the water was amazing. It was perhaps one of the most inspirational weekends of my life! I still dearly miss that gypsy part of me that loves to travel to strange places (the art festivals) only to be surrounded by incredible art and the bohemian life of an artist. Thank you Frida, I owe you a big one! Life and my heart have physically and emotionally drained me. I was in desperate need of connecting back to my spirit, my artist. Your painful creations, your fearless and passionate life are truly my inspiration!
"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" Otis Redding