May seems to be the month of Frida Kahlo. Right in time for spring, of course. Frida was a lover of the natural world, using complex botanical and anatomical imagery in much of her work, often as an expression of complimentary energies. She uniquely portrayed plants, flowers, animals, and body parts as euphemisms to address themes such as beauty and pain, life and death. She painted the past, present and future on one canvas, allowing each to exist on the same plane, simultaneously. In this way, her work becomes a magical reality where the barriers of time cease to hold us back. I think this quality is what makes her work so strong, and accessible to so many. The other day I was in Tuina practicing a routine for the lower back, and lower extremities, and I got to thinking. What if I could transport myself to 1940’s-50’s Mexico and provide that same bodywork routine for Frida? What acupressure points would I use to help with her pain? What stretches would I suggest for her to manage her consistent discomfort? Then I read this article via the Guardian with images of her wardrobe, including corsets used to support her spine, and a prosthetic leg she had made after hers was amputated in 1953. These images are a part of the exhibit Frida by Ishiuchi Miyako at the Michael Hoppen gallery in London running from May 14 to July 12, 2015.This idea lead me to further wonder what remedies Frida did utilize, whether prescription medication or more natural remedies. I wonder if she used plant-based medicine, or is she would have been open to acupuncture and Chinese herbs? An upcoming exhibition may provide a bit more insight into my inquiry. Frida Kahlo: Art. Garden. Life at the NY Botanical Gardens is running May 16-November 1, 2015. The exhibition was created and curated by Tony award-winning set designer Scott Pask, who traveled to Mexico to immerse himself in the world of Kahlo and Rivera, chiefly their renowned La Casa Azul, which will be recreated at this exhibit. You can watch a preview of the show here. In Solidarity, Christian
Credits: All images via The Guardian.