I took Ireland to the Library to find a Biography for an oral book report. I was reading off the possibilities: Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Frida (she questioned this one and I explained she was a famous painter from Mexico and continued on) Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Mother Theresa, etc. She stopped me and said “the painter lady from Mexico”. I figured no other student in Mrs. Asay’s 3rd grade classes had ever done a report on Frida Kahlo.
Ireland enjoyed learning about Frida’s tumultuous life but I became obsessed. I got the ‘adult’ version Biography. I rented to movie “Frida” staring the ‘una-browed’ Selma Hayak. And then I spent 2 days reading the background regarding each of her almost 200 paintings – most of which are self-portraits.
At the age of 7 Frida was struck with polio making her right leg small & frail. At 18 she was in a horrific bus accident that should have taken her life. A metal railing went thru her spine and exited out her pelvis leaving her childless. She spent much of her life in bed often in a cast corset. When she felt good enough to move about she used a cane, walker or wheel chair. The majority of her self portraits express her pain not only from the accident but also from an unfaithful husband, Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera, whom she loved deeply. As she grew older and deeper in pain the paintings became more abstract and bizarre. Frida’a paintings are now worth millions of dollars.
Not only is Mrs. Asay Ireland’s teacher she also teaches Ireland & Sheridan Spanish. She loved it. And Ireland then received the ‘Principle’s Pride’ award for the project.