Viva la Vida, Watermelons



Oil on masonite, 59.53 x 50.8 cm

Museo Frida Kahlo
Mexico City, Mexico

In the last years of her life, Frida painted many still-lifes. During this period she was in such pain that she was unable to leave the house or even, at times, her bed. Her still-lifes usually depict the fruits that stood on her bedside table. Some of the still-lifes contain many elements drawn from other works by the artist while others she politicized by adding flags, inscriptions and peace doves. Eight days before she died, she added a finishing touch to this, her last painting, a still life that pits the crimson pulp of chopped and sliced watermelon against the life/death duality of a half dark, half light sky. One last time Frida dipped her brush into the red paint to inscribe her name and “Coyoacan 1954 Mexico” on the foremost slice. Then, in large capital letters, she wrote the motto whose force makes both her art and her legend live: “VIVA LA VIDA”, she wrote, “LONG LIVE LIFE”. On July 13, 1954, at the age of 47, Frida passed away. Her last diary entry reads: “I hope the exit is joyful…and I hope never to return – Frida”

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