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Frida Kahlo

"Feet what do I need them for if I have wings to fly."


On a hot, dry night in April 1953, Frida Kahlo lay confined to her four-poster bed, barely able to walk. A mirror hanging on the underside of the bed's canopy reflected a woman smiling through the pain. She wore a garden of flowers in her braided hair and a bright silk shirt with a squared collar, chain-stitched with a sunny yellow pattern of interweaving squares and crisscrosses. Frida was wearing a Tehuana, the native dress of Tehuantepec women.1 Frida identified with these strong, independent women.

That night, Frida was to have her first solo art exhibition in Mexico, but her doctors had forbade her from leaving her bed. Frida had always dreamed of seeing her paintings displayed in a show in her home country. She certainly was not going to miss it now. Yes, she would follow doctor's orders. She would stay in bed. But no one said her bed had to say put.

Frida arrived for her show by ambulance and was carried to the middle of the gallery where her bed had been installed. Over 200 friends and admirers crowded around her, talking about art and singing bawdy Mexican ballads. Above her, a skeleton sculpture hung from the bed's canopy, seeming to dance every time Frida shook with laughter. One friend commented it was "the kind of performance that she loved—colorful, surprising, intensely human, and a little morbid." Read More>>


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