Greetings from Auckland. I’ve missed it here. I really have.
This is me, earlier today, at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, in front of Diego’s painting of Cristina Kahlo, Frida’s sister, who he fucked.
We all love this story, don’t we.
A self-obsessed philandering artist betrays his artist wife by fucking everything that moves, including her younger sister.
Frida has a bunch of miscarriages. She loses a foot. Her life is already a bitch. She’s pissed about him fucking her sister. So she divorces him.
But then…well, it’s complicated. She’s sick, dying, in love, in need. She fucks some other people and then she remarries him. Why not? Then she dies. Then he dies.
Right before covid hit, I got to see the Frida exhibit at the V&A in London, while I was on the tour that involved ripping my heart out every night and telling thousands of people about my abortions, my miscarriage, my experiences with sexual assault and compassion.
Frida did it.
Frida got it.
Art through the pain or die.
Draw your agony or get drawn and quartered yourself. Let men squirm uncomfortably as they try, relentlessly, to shame you for sharing the truth. Enjoy yourself before your short time on earth is over. Find love wherever.
So many women I know – especially ones I’ve met lately, perhaps it’s the laws of attraction – have had to stand gracefully in the fire and ice of horrific betrayal. What they choose to do, some of these women, is awe-inspiring.
Some Collapse, some go Full Frida.
Frida reminds us.
Give it back, this pain, do not let it eat you alive. YOU, you have to eat the pain. With whipped cream. With a cigarette. With a lover. Decorate and salt as needed.
Eat the pain and send it back into the universe as love, as art, as poetry.
I love looking at men looking at Frida.
She stares back, even though she’s dead.
A hard stare.
She says: Fuck all of your ideas about me.
She says: my husband fucked my little sister and I dealt with it and just did what I needed to do.
She says: my paintings are so powerful they have been made into shower curtains where people sit in their fucking bathrooms and stare at the majesty of my art.
I have survived.