Making a Statement: Frida Kahlo by Leslie Castaneda

There’s something so striking about her words and visuals. Something that attracts anyone she comes across. It was like I was another victim, lured in by her charisma and elegance. I was 6 years old when I first met her. Her gaze was so bold that I was slightly intimidated. But, nonetheless, there was a strong connection. It was like I could hear her voice and process her thoughts as though they were my own.


I looked through her portraits and paintings. And there she was again, serious and unamused. It felt like she was both judging and welcoming me into her world at the same time. I was hesitant. What did she want from me? Time and time again, I think of her. When I come across a difficult decision or need some inspiration, I think, what would Frida do? But, she’s Frida. I’m me. Two different people. Yet, I feel as though we are one.


It’s frustrating. Her sorrow, her joy, HER. All brought to life with delicate brush strokes and vivid oil paints.


Though she lived long ago, her legacy lives on. She was not thinking about making a statement. She was not thinking about the impressions she would make on the world. She was doing this all for herself. Selfish? I don’t think that’s fitting. An image is what someone needs to relieve themselves of the problems they may face. It’s what someone needs to make sense of the world. And sometimes those images are what others don’t want to see or simply are unable to understand.


Her world was hers. Uncensored. Raw. It was rare for a woman to broadcast her personal stories to the world. But did Frida care? No. Her art spoke her truth. Who cares if it bothered anyone else?


Her art has purpose and life. It is a still-image of all her thoughts and experiences. Something I aspire to achieve. To learn to capture the struggles and pain, the beauty and bliss. I wish to turn anything and everything into my canvas, to make a statement. Frida Kahlo motivates me to become the best artist I can possibly be and I thank her for that. She’s taught me to own who I am, even if it means breaking a few rules.