I wrote a funny article about the many lessons I’ve learned from 3 seasons of ‘Game of Thrones.’ If you’re interested, you can check it out here.
On December 6, one of my dreams in life came true: I got to spend the day with Frida Kahlo’s most famous paintings. In the Fall/Winter of 2012, the Art Gallery of Ontario held a huge exhibit called “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting” featuring nearly one hundred works by both artists, including photographs and film footage.
It was the highlight of my entire year.
Best of all, the exhibit was in Toronto (where the Art Lovers are fewer but maybe truer.) On a Thursday morning, when the gallery was empty except for a few school groups, I got to spend time alone with Frida’s paintings, getting closer than I should have and looking at the lacy brushstrokes from a few inches away. I saw the first portrait she painted, when she was in bed recovering from her near-fatal bus accident. I saw how the colors changed, more vibrant and expressive, after she married Diego. I was alone in a room with her plaster corset-cast, far from its usual resting place on Frida’s bed in La Casa Azul.
Tears were shed in public. It was awkward.
Later that night, I attended Hayden Herrera’s lecture. She is the woman responsible for making Frida Kahlo a household name outside of Mexico. She’s touched Frida’s love letters and smelled Frida’s perfume on dresses that were hidden away for 50 years. In the early 1980’s, she researched Frida’s life and wrote it down so that people like me, decades later and countries away, could be inspired by the strange woman with the unibrow who painted her pain. I was lucky enough to get the chance to tell Hayden Herrera that her book changed my life. She said, “That’s why I wrote it, for people like you.”
It was magic.