Friday, October 3, 2008

Frida and Friends

There's nothing like a day with one's friends, doing something you never get to do together. Putting ourselves in a new environment, each of us taking our separate paths to arrive at the appointed time (more or less), with the twin goals of experiencing something new and appreciating the novelty of another way of life.

Two Big Sur bumpkins, one Santa Cruz gal and two City sophisticates (one of them 7 months pregnant) meet to enjoy a morning at San Francisco's MOMA, two days before the close of the fabulous Frida Kahlo exhibit.

Since I've left my laptop power cord in a San Francisco café, (there's a song there somewhere) there's been a bit of a delay in my sitting down to blog. I've also been basking in the joyous memories of such delicious friendships, pregnant bellies, soccer games, and cups of tea followed by glasses of champagne.

Our group contained two painters, a professional photographer, an entrepreneur and yours truly. Lots of stimulating commentary all around. I love the abundance of Mi Nana y Yo, My Nurse and I. Milk streams from the heavens as Frida nourishes herself at the breast of the great Mother. Her little body shimmers with power, lightning-like veins coursing through her dress. It bursts with erotic creativity and mystery.

The series of photographs of Frida's life—family, friends and events, was exceptional. One photograph, from her lover Julien Levy, is unforgettable. It's a small photo of a topless Frida, (the camera stops just above her nipples) with her hair down, wearing one of her signature heavy necklaces. Her right arm is bent upwards, hand resting on her head, she displays a bit of dark underarm hair. That faraway look in her eyes, which you see in so many of her paintings, transforms into something more dreamy than sad.

Each one of us shed tears at the film clip of Diego and Frida, the part where Diego turns Frida's sweet face to the camera, twice. She shyly tucks her cheek into his enormous paw, then takes his hand in her own and kisses it tenderly. Since we are all married ladies, we really get the authenticity of such domestic gestures, especially between battling, loving spouses.

One country bumpkin who will remain nameless was chastised by the rest of us for tugging on her underwear through her jeans while waiting for a table at the Samovar Tea Lounge. We can't take you anywhere, we cried, secretly delighted that she just didn't give a damn.

Before lunch, the non-pregnant city sophisticate proffered a special breath mint spray, given to her by another renegade mom. We dutifully sprayed the foul tasting green liquid (with the pretty hemp flower on the packaging) into our mouths. Results were disappointing, but the tea and delicious snacks at the Samovar were not.

I ordered the Russian Tea Platter, with the bottomless cup of black tea, which I filled many times from the enormous samovar inside the restaurant, both for myself and my luscious pals. We sat outside in the Yerba Buena Gardens, enjoying the bright sunshine and views of da big City. Later that day, we drank champagne and held our own salon on love, art, sex and death.

Frida would have approved!

Frida by Imogen Cunningham, 1931
Mi Nana y Yo. 1937
The Two Fridas, 1939

1 comment:

Linda said...

tonight at Logos in Santa Cruz, I found a book about Frida, "Song of Herself" in it is this part of an interview with her friend Olga Campos. I can tell this is going to be a wonderful book. Here is the passage that the book opened to, opposite a drawing called "Self-Portrait as Genital, c 1944.

"It does not bother me to much when somebody looks at my genitals. I like the sexual parts of the opposite sex. Breasts are aesthetic. When women's breasts are beautiful, I like them very much. But I do not like pink nipples. During sex, my breasts play an active role. I become excited when they are touched, even by some women. Homosexuality is very correct, very good.I do not like sadism or masochims. In general, I think of sexual perversions as a curious thing. I have never held back from sexual activities, only because of sickness.