I almost feel the warmth of Mexico as I squeeze through the crowds at the Musee de l'Orangerie, and heart beating a mile a minute, approach the work of Frida Kahlo. The sadness, pain, pride and flamboyance all meld, producing a cocktail of brilliance. The emotion and color of her life preserved forever on canvas.
I've seen the Frida movie, read books about her life and have admired her art from afar. But this is something exceptional: the opportunity to see her most famous works up close. From self-portraits to a still life with fruit and a bird to the beautiful works of her husband Diego Rivera, the exhibit is certain to please any admirer of Frida.
The visit is festive and sorrowful, much like Frida's life. "The Broken Column," her self-portrait showing the pain she endured following a serious bus accident, is haunting. It has the ability to transmit her trauma, making one's bones ache. I blink back a tear and move along, admiring the yellows, reds and greens, and think of how this artist is an inspiration: expressing and overcoming her hardships through her art. And I have to mention one of my favorite things about Frida: her sense of rebellion and independence. She shrugged off all that society expected of women and followed her heart.
In spite of the sadness that shrouded her life, Frida is actually all about hope.