After seeing Salma Hayek's marvelous film version of Frida Kahlo's life and development as a painter, "Frida," an honest treatment of te way that art and life are interwoven in artists' lives, my interest in Frida Kahlo was stimulated, and that, along with the printmaking idea resulted in this first print. While looking at some photos of Frida Kahlo (this one a 1953 photo by the brothers Mayo), I was struck by the unusual lines on her palm, first, the very unusual "love line" in Frida Kahlo's palm, a line that traces the story of the intense and unusual emotional relationship she had with Diego Rivera, along with an unusual conjoining of the life line and the line of intellect throughout her life, the line of intellect landing up where many creative people's do, on the mound of Mercury, and the life line cut short: a study in forensic Palmistry of the most unusual palm of a most unique individual.
Also, because Frida Kahlo was herself an art object and controlled carefully the way she was seen and photographed, she is a rich subject for study. This particular image is of her as the self-styled semi-retired wife of a revolutionary, wearing a peasant's dress of gingham and rick-rack, a contrast to her more well-known Tejuana outfits and elaborate hairstyles.
While working up the image above for a print, I did a small experimental print of just the palm, trying out the new "linoleum" medium that is now available. In both prints, teh smoke from her ever-present cigarette echoes the smoke in the background of a very early self-portrait; in this one, the smoke curls into the words "mire la mano," (look at the/her hand)
detail of the above print -- all are printed on handmade Chinese rice (possibly cotton) paper
This particular image is of Frida Kahlo's face, from a full-length standing photograph in her garden; it has a special appeal for me as it combines both Frida Kahlo's face and Salma Hayek's faces -- or, more precisely, it shows an aspect of Frida Kahlo that is very close to the way Salma Hayek looked as Frida.