Frida and the full picture


Today I went to see Frida Kahlo’s exhibition at the art gallery of NSW and what struck me the most was how she portrayed life in such a dramatic manner, her darkness and sadness overshadowing the bright Mexican colours of her paintings. Knowing a bit a of her story I can see why she had an tormented soul: she had polio as a child, had a deformed leg and crippling spinal pain, infected kidneys, gangrenous toes, and the list goes on. Looking at the wall hypnotised by her work I could feel her pain, her longing to transcend her afflictions with dignity.

I turned to my friend also mystified by the Mexican art on display and asked “do you think that artists view the world as it is, while the rest of us are just getting distracted in search of happiness and don’t really feel all the emotions that are there to be felt?”

We all observe the world and interpret what we see under the influence of our belief systems but artists seem to look at things a bit differently or see things in more details, the nuances of colours, textures, feelings and emotions. My visit to the gallery today made me wonder:

1 – if we look deep enough will we find that life is painted in more dark than bright strokes? And

2 – if life does have more shades of grey than we normally observe with our distracted minds can we still find beauty in the world and live our lives with grace?

I don’t have an answer to that, I don’t know if my eyes are wide open capturing the full wavelengths of light. How about you, do you think you see the full picture?


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