“Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who transformed her life by painting herself.” -The Life of Frida Kahlo
Like Frida, I’ve made my own likeness the subject of my own artwork. Not out of any sort of vanity, but more so out of curiosity. One of my initial discoveries was that I had never gotten my pose down. I began to notice that most of my friends, when confronted with a camera, have a “go to pose”. I didn’t. Which is why I would always feel very awkward when standing for any photograph and why I always ended up looking as awkward as I felt. I would get caught in the moment of trying to decided what to do with my face and that moment would be immortalized. Having more time on my hands, I began to study myself in photograph. It became a habit, for better or worse. I had no idea why I felt compelled to snap so many photos of myself, I can’t say that I had any particular intention, but soon enough I would find a use for them.
The period after my job loss was hugely cathartic. I had a lot of time with myself and I spent much of that time taking a long hard look at myself. I made some surprising discoveries, to be sure. It wasn’t a conscious goal, but through this project, I can say now that I know myself much better, even the scary parts. The self that is left when who I thought I was is set (or cast) aside, when there is nothing to strive for, nothing to become. I learned to love myself even when rejection letters from employers arrived in my inbox daily, even when people I had considered friends were nowhere to be found, and even when I felt I had nothing to offer anyone anyway, including myself.
If you would like to read my account of my encounters with the spirit of Frida Kahlo, please visit my page: A Tribute to Frida Khalo