Frida by Cate Padilla-Finney


Espina Corazon

The name of my piece is “Espina Corazon”. It is based on the physical & emotional pain Frida felt every day of her life. The artwork that represents that struggle in her life speaks to me the loudest. Those were my inspirations.

“The Two Fridas” and “A few little cuts” are the most inspirational.

As if on cue, half way into the creation of this piece I was literally struck down due to problems with my spinal discs and spinal cord. I thought I knew what pain was before this incident. Luckily, my issues are being quickly addressed and while it may be months until I am physically myself again, I know that I will… be myself again.

Frida didn’t have that luxury.

For two weeks I struggled to stand, to sit, to lie down. I could find no comfort. Then I surrounded myself with my tools and created the hearts, and the hand, and Frida’s eyes…. with every touch I felt the intent behind this piece. It was all about the pain, the spine hanging over our heads looking both familiar and alien.

The physicians, the consultations, the tests, the surgery, every aspect of western medicine is represented by the white metallic alligator clips, and eye holes.

The blood, the soul, the desperate groping here and there for any relief, is represented by the red string. It knots in some places, twists in others. It holds your life and takes control of who you are and how you are.

Although the pain I suffered was horrifically traumatic to me, I understand that it wasn’t even 1/4 of 1% of what Frida Kahlo suffered. However, there were moments when I felt that I couldn’t possibly feel any more pain and hopelessness crept in. During those moments I would look at what was taking form and I would feel a kinship of pain with Frida. Those are the moments I asked her for help, for strength to complete this project by the deadline.

I’m happy “we” made it.