The dream (the bed), Frida Kahlo, 1940

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A gorgeous card I received from Bärbel ♥ Thank you so much!

In Mexico, death is not mourned like in most other countries of the world. In fact, every year on November 2nd, Mexico celebrates the dead with the “Day of the Dead” festival. While it is strange for us that death and festivities can go hand-in-hand, for Mexicans, the two are intricately entwined.

This painting is sometimes referred to as “The Bed“. In this painting, as well as others, Frida’s preoccupation with death is revealed. In real life Frida did have a papier-mâché skeleton (Juda) on the canopy of her bed. Diego called it “Frida’s lover” but Frida said it was just an amusing reminder of mortality. Frida and the skeleton both lie on their side with two pillows under their head. While Frida sleeps the skeleton is awake and watching. The bed appears to ascend into the clouds and the embroidered vines on her bedspread seem to come to life and begin to entwine with her body. The roots at the foot of the bed appear to have been pulled out of the ground. The skeleton’s body is entwined with wires and explosives that at any moment could go off… making Frida’s dream of death a stark reality. In this painting and in others, Frida uses the “Life/Death” theme…the plants representing the rebirth of life and the skeleton representing death.

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