Looking at Artists

She is fragile as a mosquito
A quiet hum as she thinks
Crunching fruit of the caimito
His anger rises the more he drinks
With dragonfly speed he grabs
As anger flashes in her eyes
Pain in her wrist stabs
She can see only his lies
A color explosion of flowers
Shattered vase against the wall
But the dragonfly devours
The woman in the butterfly shawl

Here are some more MMPP prompts: Write about dragonflies and another beast or beasts and imagine Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera having lunch. I knew that Frida had health issues and I knew that her husband Diego was at the time of her marriage a famous and successful artist twice her age. I also knew that both of them took a rather relaxed view of marriage vows for themselves but not for their spouse. Their marriage is described as passionate, tumultuous, and violent depending on the source. Both had what is stereotypically called the artist disposition. I imagine they lacked a lot of self control and were both head-strong and volatile. Frida was likely in pain most of the time leading to a sharp tongue and a short fuse. Diego was likely a manipulative and domineering man. Together I can imagine a predator/prey relationship that lent itself to spontaneous combustion…

60 thoughts on “Looking at Artists

  1. I like how you put these together. It’s fun to imagine their lives.
    For some reason, I don’t think of dragonflies as predatory. Of course, they are.
    I saw a meme (perhaps photograph) of a preying mantis eating a murder hornet. Perception.
    Pardon my seemingly disconnected thoughts. I’m pre-coffee and have a lot on my mind.

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  2. I had to look her up as I was trying to remember her. His name didn’t even register to me. She wasn’t very old when she died.

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    1. Ha! That is a good thing – looking up info! Itwas kind of funny that she is remembered but he’s forgotten. He was much more famous than she was but her style really caught the attention in a way his never did. She was half his age and after a back surgery she was left in terrible pain and died young!

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  3. I am familiar with Frida Kahlo but not Diego Rivera. Some of her artwork is very interesting. It is hard to not want to make snap judgments about both of them. It seems as if her world straddled two cultures. “Along the Boarder between Mexico and the United States” gives rise to the words “tortured past life.” I don’t know anything about him but I did look up her because her name is familiar.

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  4. It would be a fun creative time to research both of their art and then write a poem about them meeting halfway. But I have a half day working which begins at noon. This would not be quick with me as I would want to take my time to give it justice.

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    1. I take the time when I have it and them do a little deep thinking. I turn things over in my mind while I do routine stuff like fold laundry and do dishes or when I drive long distances…

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      1. Exactly! I am like you. Cleaning the toilet and deep cleaning is therapeutic and gets my juices going. I could not know hire someone to clean my home. I kind of need the routine.

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  5. When I read through the MMPP list, I knew neither of these names, let alone that they were artists and married to each other. Most artists I know are loners, or with a non-artist who grounds and supports them. I like the interplay of the prompts and artists, the contrasting personalities. When I read “A color explosion of flowers” I wondered if it was a painting, if his behavior somehow inspired her work. “Shattered vase against the wall” answered that. Had it been a different artist, he might have left her a note of apology, like:
    I have eaten
    the caimitos
    that were in
    the icebox…

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    1. Hehe! If they had married different people perhaps she would have been happier. But they say artists need to suffer for their art – for inspiration or depth or vision. Who knows? There are several of her portraits where she is surrounded by flowers…

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    1. I’m glad this triggered good memories! Diego Rivera was a famous Mexican painter – is his house a historic site or museum? I’m now curious about your sojourn in Mexico!! I bet you have some interesting stories….

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      1. Some of my earlier posts and writings were drawn from my Mexico journals…we just walked by his home in the lovely colonial town of Guanajuato, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe it was turned into a museum.

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  6. probably an apt description from what I’ve heard!
    Absolutely love your poem and the metaphor for violence … made me think that I often forget nature is also cruel. Not a trait we should be condoning …

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    1. Thanks tons for the compliment! I often think we humans are reflections of some of the baser parts of nature. The struggle is to rise above the instinct and elevate the mind and heart…

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            1. Me too but I don’t publish all of it – at least not when I first write it. I have to let it sit and then have to go over it to make any corrections (over corrections in some cases)!

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  7. vividly descriptive and tumultuous like the relationship of Kahlo and her husband, they were so drawn to each other and created their best work when together, like moth to a flame, you have written beautifully on them, she too is another one of my favourite artists.

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    1. Gina I’m so happy that you enjoyed this one! They did seem drawn to each other in a dangerous way – playing with fire! Frida had a style that utilized color and nature in a bold way. One that certainly caught the eye!

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    1. True but for better or worse they didn’t procreate together. At least the violence was not inflicted on any children. All of his children lived with their mothers and theoretically had much calmer lives.

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