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Entreating “The Two Fridas”

I commend you, “The Two Fridas,” for coming to this exhibition of women’s surrealism, but I must again say I’m concerned about your obsessive love for Diego Rivera. Artistically, of course, you’ve again transformed your physical and emotional pain into a stunning work of art. That’s not the issue, though. The issue is your mental health.

No, I won’t go away and neither will you. You’ll hang right there on the wall and listen. There really aren’t two Fridas in regard to Diego. Your painterly separation of yourself notwithstanding, you coalesce spiritually to form the same person holding hands with the other self and plan not how to move forward into a new life but to survive until Diego returns to you. What is his inexorable attraction? Granted, he’s a great artist. All right, he’s charismatic and charming. Famous and solvent, too. And you love him more than yourself. That’s the problem. I don’t care how wonderful any man is, even a three-hundred pounder who’s frequently unbathed and screws hundreds of other women including your treacherous sister Cristina. Where are your pride and dignity?

Where are mine? They may be fragile as yours but people don’t care about mine, they care about yours. So please permit these observations. The Frida on viewer right holds a small photo of Diego with a vein leading away and around your left arm and through your heart and out across threatening skies to your other self and around your neck into your heart and out again, down to your medicinal white dress being bled on through your attempts to close the vein with surgical scissors. Despite your beauty, and because of the quite fictional stoicism of “The Two Fridas,” you let Diego bleed you. Rather, you bleed yourself over him. Don’t think that he loves you. He’s quite fond of you and enjoys you when he wants, but that isn’t worth suffering for.

Throw away that little picture of Diego. Crush it with your left hand. Unwrap those veins around your arms and necks and put them and both hearts back in your chest. Throw away that bloody white dress. Jump into your native Tehuana dress. And quit compulsively talking about Diego and driving away many men who adore you. Pick one of them. Transform your life but leave “The Two Fridas” just as they are, so we can keep looking.

To see “The Two Fridas,” please click here

This entry was posted in Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Health, LACMA, Marriage, Mental Health, Mexico, Mexico City, Painters, Surrealism.