• Popular music inspired Frida Kahlo paintings, professor says
  • Los Angeles, Nov 21 (EFE).- University professor Gloria Arjona is researching the influence of music on the works of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and is displaying the results audiovisually at universities and public libraries around California.

    "I was intrigued by the constant relation of her paintings to music, so I started researching the songs to which she referred and that none of her critics have ever mentioned," Arjona told EFE.

    "I discovered one of her paintings called 'Arbol de la Esperanza Mantente Firme' (Tree of Hope Stay Firm) that some scholars said came from a popular song. 'Which popular song?' I wondered, and then discovered it was 'Cielito Lindo,'" Arjona said in her presentation. "That was Frida's favorite tune."

    The professor explained in English the images of the Kahlo paintings she screened and then, strumming a guitar, sang the songs in Spanish that inspired the artist's paintings.

    Arjona said, for example, that a painting of a deer wounded by seven arrows "refers to the constant pain" Kahlo suffered in her spinal column and which was also inspired by the popular Mexican song, "El Venadito Herido" (The Wounded Little Deer).

    Arjona also showed a Kahlo work called "Self Portrait with Short Hair," in which she is seen, scissors in hand, having cut off all the lush long tresses that husband Diego Rivera so admired.

    The professor said the oil was probably inspired by a 15th century "Spanish romance," and specifically by the lyric "Look, if I loved you it was for your hair. Now that you're bald I don't love you."