So far I have found myself trying to draw Frida in a portrait style – not that this is my goal but I feel I want to get to ‘know’ her face and presence first. (also watching documentaries) Whether or not something that I like will come of all this fussing around, I do not know, but it feels right.
I have also spent an incredible amount of time pouring over other artists impressions or designs of Frida. Most seem to centre on the Iconic image while others make an offering of love through their art or seek to honour her story. Plenty are awful but the majority succeed in creating another way of approaching Frida, with originality, sensitivity and skill.
I wish that there were lots of photographs of her smiling with her teeth visible. For some reason she seems more exposed in these few shots that I have managed to find.
Her usual way of being comfortable with the camera is to hold herself behind her mouth and eyes– as if she gives permission and patience to the camera as long as it respects her way of being beautiful and being seen. (I am not speaking of vanity here, but of Frida’s way of sharing her full possession of herself.)
When you see her teeth, she seems to leak out all over the place – like a little damn bursting inside a happy child, excited and vulnerable, even her eyes completely change. In them is a fleeting delight and shyness at being seen. I think these few photos (and footage) are the most lovely of all.
There is also another angle which I feel increasingly drawn to, those of her own self portraits –
To draw Frida, as Frida draws herself, but to be the one drawing…interesting circle.
Lastly, it is impossible to not draw oneself into a portrait of another – impossible
creating an added twist which is the most interesting of all;
When I draw someone carefully and give myself to the drawing, that persons image becomes a part of me, as if they are family or a loved one – I cannot help it, It happens every single time. To do good work, I must invest and love and mull over and over – tying myself into a strange bond.
This is not a problem until I stumble upon a picture of the one I drew, or a photograph, or even bump into them – then there is immediately feelings of intimacy surrounding the meeting and it can throw me for quite a loop till I remember that I had drawn them once…….