Sunday, September 6, 2015

Black Key #19

Black Key #19 - virtual (digital) assemblage - © 2015, DS
(click to enlarge)

“The unborn work in the psyche of the artist is a force of nature that achieves its end either with tyrannical might or with the subtle cunning of nature herself, quite regardless of the man who is its vehicle.  The creative urge lives and grows in him/her like a tree in the earth from which it draws its nourishment.  We would do well, then, to think of the creative process as a living thing implanted in the human psyche.”
- from The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature, Collected Works, 1966, Carl Jung

I'll be away from the "Land of Blog" for the next couple of months, attending to various "unborn works in the psyche".

Before I go, I just wanted to address some elements I deleted from the sidebar... namely my "Followers" section, the pageview-count widget, and the "Search" widget; all three seem to have picked up glitches in the past couple of months, and aren't working - on my computer, at any rate - so, I took them down. I especially wanted my followers to know that this was no reflection on them, and when and if the widgets lose their glitches, I'll put them back up.

My plan is to return around the end of October... till then, adios!


PS  Following the trail of the Black Key: Where the Key was Found. But, the question remains, was the key found before, or after #19? ;-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Patron Saint #11: Frida Kahlo: Portraits of La Santa Muerte

Autorretrato con collar de espinas (Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns) - oil on canvas - 1940, Frida Kahlo
(Apart from this image which is posted at its maximum size, all others on this page
 can be clicked to enlarge.)

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.”

- Frida Kahlo; quote found here.


I've not been a huge fan of most film and television fare in recent years, so I tend to miss a lot of things. And, when Julie Taymor's Frida (2002) appeared on the tube several months ago, I was a liitle hesitant; not convinced that Selma Hayek (or, anyone, for that matter) could pull off the heavy title role. Happily, I was wrong, and, for the most part, I enjoyed the film. And, it renewed my interest in possibly one of the most celebrated, venerated - and, possibly least understood - artists of the past century, Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 - July 13, 1954).

As it was, Frida Kahlo's story came up a few times in the autumn of last year, during research for "Dia(s) de Los Muertos". At first, I thought it was amusing that, while googling "The Day(s) of the Dead," Kahlo's imagery - and photos of Kahlo herself - kept popping up on my computer monitor, but, after exploring some of these links, and doing a little investigation of my own, an intriguing picture began to emerge. Ultimately, Frida Kahlo might not be associated with the Days of the Dead for superficial reasons. As it was, I begin to suspect, in many ways, not only was she aware of La Santa Muerte (or Santisima Muerte) the patron Saint of Death - in spite of the fact that she had not come from, nor lived in the lower class barrios - she, in many ways, identified with her and, possibly, even paid tribute to her, along with the Saint's Mesoamerican forebear, the goddess of death, Mictecacihuatl. Moreover, as documentation of contemporary Santa Muerte worship just happened to originate around the middle of the 20th century - anywhere from the 1940s to the 1960s (Kahlo herself died in 1954) - I suspect that, not only was Frida Kahlo an early contributor (albeit unwittingly) to the religion's more recent form (see here and here), she has become, in a sense, one of the saint's corporeal embodiments...