Of course we all know Facebook is the fount of all evil, but this week I saw a post from a friend, which was sort of a chain letter that didn't make me want to pick out my eyes with rocks. It was a call to occupy Facebook with art

The post was a picture of Jake and Dinos Chapman's The Sum of alll Evil. The piece is as awesome as it is horrific, so I clicked like (as is the parlance) and commented my approval. However, my comment was then replied to, informing me I had been given Frida Kahlo.

Wat?

Re-reading the initial post explained that by liking it, I consented to taking part in a sort of cultural sit-in. Not being a huge fan of Kahlo, I’m not very familiar with her work. She’s the self-portrait lady, yeah?

I did some google research and found out a bit about her style and why she painted what she did. Started reading a bit of bio and before I knew what was going on I was learning about something. Something that wasn’t javascript or CSS level 4 selectors and it was interesting, damnit.

I eventually settled on this:

Weeping Coconuts (Cocos gimientes) by Frida Kahlo (1951)

I chose this because it’s supposed to be very sad; As Kahlo got older she turned away from self-portraits and started painting still life. This was possibly due to the affect of prescription medication had on her ability to paint with the detail she’d used to 1. Kahlo thought they would sell quicker and she and her husband, Diego Rivera, needed money to pay her medical bills 2. However, despite this tragic tale, nothing about the actual image seems sad to me. In fact, a crying coconut seems absurdly funny.

It was painted as a gift to a friend, Elena Boder. Boder didn’t like it and returned it, expecting Kahlo to offer her another one. She didn’t. She just painted over the “For Elena Boder” bit and sold it 3. Hence the message on the finished piece saying “Painted with great affection. Frida Kahlo”

Clearly an excellent sense of humour.

Header image attributed to velovotee from The Commons on Flickr

@matthewbeta

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