Do you think we are drawn to things for a reason? That perhaps a part of our current selves are aware of what our future selves will later experience?
When I was a sophomore in High School, a friend of mine drove me home from school. I was perusing his Humanities Studies book one day (and by perusing, I mean bored out of mind, randomly flipping through pages to pass the time) and fell upon this painting:
I loved it immediately and it has been my favorite painting and Frida Kahlo has been my favorite artist ever since. To me, this painting symbolizes the broken woman. Frida Kahlo was a very broken woman. Structurally, she suffered a broken pelvis, spinal column, collarbone, ribs, pelvis, leg and foot in a terrible bus accident. But the cruelest of her injuries were the wounds she received to her uterus which made it impossible to carry a baby to term. She suffered several miscarriages through out her life and was never able to birth a live child.
The reason I loved this painting when I first saw it was because despite Frida’s brokeness she is able to hold herself together. She is in pain, she is mourning, she is suffering and all of this is exposed to the world. Some may see the brokeness and the crudeness but I saw the healing and this painting was a symbol of strength.
Now, after having experienced the loss of a child and the fears of suffering through more, I can appreciate the depth of this painting even more. I too am in pain, I am mourning, I am suffering and all of this is exposed to the world. Some people may see only brokeness but I hope that others are able to see the healing and see the strength that I try to exude.
In addition to the Broken Column, I am also very drawn to Henry Ford Hospital a painting that Frida Kahlo completed after suffering through one of her miscarriages. The six objects that are tethered to her are all meant to objectify things that she wants, lacks or desires. The most largest and most primary of these objects is a child.
Her paintings are realistic and they don’t shy away from the gravity of her life experiences. I hope that neither do I. Today, I find myself wondering why I was so drawn to an artist that I would later share this connection with. The Broken Column brought me strength during several past experiences and I believe that Henry Ford Hospital will do the same for me now.