Is it really such a terrible, horrible, awful thing to see a painfully beautiful piece of art — like Frida Kahlo’s “The Broken Column” — and feel a deep connection with it?
I have felt a connection to it for years. And G-d knows our woman Frida understood suffering, pain, loss and burden.
She means different things at different times: her face is strong and resigned even as she cries. She is complete but being held together; the pins can be symbols of the fragile pieces keeping her in one as much as they are parts of the braces and stitches and fragments she endured. Her nudity is both quite bold and quite revealing, and ultimately we are at our most vulnerable when naked. And though she does seem to be one whole woman outside, inside we see she is broken, crumbles, damaged, unsteady, uncertain. She looks like a woman trying to (literally) hold it all together. Not a wholly unfamiliar feeling.
Now tell me honestly you have never felt any of the things described above, and now tell me how wrong it might be to feel connected to a portrait of such shame/less sorrowful strength.
While you’re at it, read the description of Frida’s life (and especially “The Broken Column”) on this site. It’s pretty damn to the point.