Frida Kahlo read the following news in the newspaper: a man killed his wife and in court he defended himself by saying that he had only given her “a few bites.” According to the police, there were twenty stab wounds.
The artist, already committed to the feminist cause in 1935, decided to denounce the atrocious event showing the bloody scene of the murder, and two pigeons carrying a ribbon with the words of the individual, to make the inconsistency clear.
The assassin is smiling satisfied and puts away a handkerchief with which he has wiped away the blood. He probably got away with his crime.
But if there is something left over in the painting, it is blood… the entire canvas is full of it: on the bed, on the floor, on the criminal’s shirt and even in the frame, full of footprints that prove the crime.
Frida wants to break the physical separation between the viewer and the work so that the viewer commits, so that they are not complicit in a murder that in those years was considered a “crime of passion”, with the consequent mitigating sentence. Why this morbid idea? Perhaps it was simply a defense. That murdered woman was, in a way, me, whom Diego murdered every day. Or she was the other one, the woman with whom Diego could be and whom I would have wanted to make disappear. She felt a good dose of violence in me, I can’t deny it, and he handled her as she could…