[T]here is something unhealthy, of equal intensity, about the disproportionate adulation that Frida Kahlo has received over the last two or three decades. I think that what has happened is that people with no objective right to do so have equated her suffering with their own, and have appropriated her work as a symbolic representation of their own minor dissatisfactions and frustrations, victimhood being the present equivalent of beatitude.The critic likes the artist well enough. He's just repulsed by her fans. But are we not a little repulsed at how invasively he projects himself into the thoughts of the women in the museum whose looks he doesn't like?
They say, “I too have known a faithless or a worthless man; I too have suffered from persistent headaches, dymenorrhoea, or sciatica; therefore, Frida Kahlo has understood me, and I have understood Frida Kahlo. After all, I have suffered just like her. Moreover, like me, she was a moral person, which is to say that she had all the right attitudes; she was on the side of the oppressed, at least those who were not in the Gulag; she loved indigenes as a matter of principle; and she took part in the holy work of dissolving boundaries, the boundaries between sexes (or rather, genders) and between cultures.”
September 25, 2005
Frida Kahlo, whose female fans have the "washed-out, slightly embittered look of British women novelists."
Or so says Anthony Daniels, in The New Criterion (via A&L Daily):