- Birthday, Quotes, Reading, Writing

Frida Kahlo on Art, Life, Death, Painting, and More.

 

Happy birthday, Frida Kahlo! Here are some quotes from the artist:

“A little while ago, not much more than a few days ago, I was a child who went about in a world of colors, of hard and tangible forms. Everything was mysterious and something was hidden, guessing what it was was a game for me.

If you knew how terrible it is to know suddenly, as if a bolt of lightning elucidated the earth. Now I live in a painful planet, transparent as ice, but it is as if I had learned everything at once in seconds. My friends, my companions became women slowly. I became old in instants and everything today is bland and lucid. I know that nothing lies behind. If there was something, I would see it…”

 

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”

 

“Fall in love with yourself, with life, and then with whomever you want.”

 

“I am a mixture.”

 

“Until always and forever. Now in 1944. After all the hours lived through. The vectors continue in their original direction. Nothing stops them. With no more knowledge than live emotion. With no other wish than to go on until they meet. Slowly. With great unease, but with the certainty that all is guided by the ‘golden section.’ There is cellular arrangement. There is movement. There is light. All centers are the same. Folly doesn’t exist. We are the same as we were and as we will be. Not counting on idiotic destiny.”

 

“Revolution is the harmony of form and color and everything exists, and moves, under only one law = life. Nobody is separate from anybody else—nobody fights for [themselves]. Everything is all and one, anguish and pain, pleasure and death are no more than a process of existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence.”

 

“Rebellion against everything that chains you.”

 

“Revolution transform[s] the world into a classless one so that we can attain a better rhythm for the oppressed classes.”

 

“Always revolutionary. Never dead, never useless.”

 

“I’m more and more convinced it’s only through communism that we can become human.”

 

“I’ve been sick for a year now. Seven operations on my spinal column. Doctor Farill saved me. He brought me back the joy of life. I am still in the wheelchair, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to walk again soon. I have a plaster corset. Even though it is a frightful nuisance, it helps my spine. I don’t feel any pain. Only this…bloody tiredness, and naturally, quite often, despair.”

 

“I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.”

 

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”

 

“There is nothing more precious than laughter—it is strength to laugh and lose oneself, to be light.”

 

“Everything can have beauty, even the worst horror.”

 

“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”

 

“I am not sick. I am broken. But, I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.”

 

“Painting has made my life full. Painting has replaced everything. I don’t think there’s anything better than work.”

 

“I paint flowers so they will not die.”

 

“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”

 

“I don’t really know if my paintings are surreal or not, but I do know that they represent the frankest expression of myself.”

 

“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”

 

“[W]hat would I do without the absurd and the ephemeral?”

 

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”

 

“I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return.”

 

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John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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