Updated: Apr 12, 2020

When I went to Mexico, I knew that I wanted to paint a portrait of Frida Kahlo but didn't know it would look like this. One can say I really like her, not her work - HER. I appreciate her artwork, of course, but it's her spirit that I love above all. When I visited her house, I could see why she was inspired, the ambiance is so creative. Walking around, I saw some of her artwork and didn't stop in front of the paintings because it was crowded and some woman behind me was getting on my nerves. But then I saw the most beautiful still life, her painting called 'Viva la vida'.

2018. oil on canvas, 81x65cm

"Viva la vida" and why I connect with it

It's a simple painting of watermelons cut in different shapes. It looked like there was a lot of people, a family reunion or something and everybody is cutting the watermelon as they like. For me it was like a summer day and there was a massacred watermelon on the table. So simple and beautiful, I could see how everyday moments in life are the precious ones. And so in this still life I can see Frida with all her suffering and all the pain in her fragile body, celebrating life and all that it's made of.

Cigarette, smoke and a butterfly 

On my painting, Frida is looking at the smoke coming from her cigarette. Where the smoke rises, the seeds come together and soon they make a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly. I know cigarettes are bad for us but somehow when we go through something 'bad' it can bring us somewhere wonderful. This part of the painting is my personal way to express my connection with Frida.

And for the end a few photos that inspired me...

The explanation is focused on this specific painting, but to understand where the whole idea comes from, why I did this collection, please read my artist statement on my collection ‘BEAUTY OF US’, by clicking the link:

#vivalavida #fridakahlo #beautyofus #petkovicart

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