Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) was a Mexican painter whose work celebrated the indigenous culture of her country in a style that combined surrealism, symbolism and realism. Her self portraits were a study in transcendence from physical suffering. As a girl, Kahlo was afflicted with polio. She recovered only to be terribly injured in a bus accident. She hid her tortured body, her shriveled leg, her broken foot and her orthopedic corsets under the spectacular finery of the peasant women of Mexico. Hers was a courageous spirit that embraced revolution and reflected the all too human ability to feel pain and beauty.
Paperblanks has produced two journals designs with covers that reproduce original work by Kahlo. The first, Frida, A Double Portrait, is one of Kahlo’s most unforgettable portraits, full of mystery and awe. The floating heads with deep-set eyes fade eerily in and out of each other. The imagery of a woman’s life cycle evokes grace as the colors conjure the faded glory of a Renaissance drawing.
The second design, Frida, The Ultimate Union, extracted from the artist’s journal, is an image imbued with the dynamic tension of two forces drawn together and apart. Kahlo’s Union discovers and loves what has been discovered but with a tinge of grief for what must eventually be lost. The Ultimate Union arms you against everything that does not set you free.
The excerpt in full:
You understand everything. The ultimate union. You suffer rejoice love rage kiss laugh. We were born for the same thing. To discover and love what has been discovered. hidden. With the grief of always losing it. You are beautiful. I endow you with your beauty. Soft in your immense sadness. Simple bitterness. Arms you against everything that does not free you. Rebellion against everything that chains you. You love. Love me as the center. Me as yourself. It won’t achieve a prodigious memory of you passing through my life scattering jewels I’ll only collect after you’ve gone. There is no distance. Only time. Listen to me caress me with what you’re looking for and with what you search. I’m going to you and to me. Like all the whole songs seen.
|Paperblanks’ Kahlo, The Ultimate Union writing journal||Original page from Frida Kahlo’s manuscript|