Frida: ¡Viva La Vida! Long Live Life!

Written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

“Wearing the white huipil with the lavender tassel,
hiding my amputated leg in red-leather boots,
I wheel the wheelchair to the Blue House studio
that Diego so lovingly built for me.

I dip the brush in blood-red paint
and, embracing life with all its light,
I print on a watermelon cut open—like I am—
¡Viva la vida!—
a hymn to nature and life.”

Frida Kahlo, a native of Mexico, is described here in biographical poems accompanied by her own artwork. Both text and images reveal the anguish and joy of her two marriages to muralist Diego Rivera, her life-long suffering from a crippling bus accident, and her thirst for life, even as she tasted death. Her favorite motto was: ¡Viva la vida! (Long live life!)

Back matter includes excerpts from Frida’s diary and letters, a prose biography, a chronology of the artist’s life, a glossary of Spanish words, sources, and notes.

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