2. “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”

3. “I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.”

4. “Pain, pleasure, and death are no more than a process for existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence.”

5. “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”

6. “Only one mountain can know the core of another mountain.”

7. “I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.”

8. “I hope the exit is joyful. And I hope never to return.”

9. “Painting completed my life.”

10. “I love you more than my own skin and even though you don’t love me the same way, you love me anyways, don’t you? And if you don’t, I’ll always have the hope that you do, and I’m satisfied with that. Love me a little. I adore you.” 

11. “Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh; and to abandon oneself, to be light.”

12. “You deserve the best, the very best because you are one of the few people in this lousy world who are honest to themselves, and that is the only thing that really counts.”

13. “My painting carries with it the message of pain. I think that at least a few people are interested in it. It’s not revolutionary. Why keep wishing for it to be belligerent? I can’t.”

14. “I paint flowers so they will not die.”

15. “I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim.”

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16. “I must fight with all my strength so that the little positive things that my health allows me to do might be pointed toward helping the revolution. The only real reason for living.”

17. “You are all the combinations of numbers of life.”

18. “Don’t build a wall around your suffering. It may devour you from the inside.”

19. “Passion is the bridge that takes you from pain to change.”

20. “You deserve a lover who makes you feel safe, who can consume this world whole if he walks hand in hand with you; someone who believes that his embraces are a perfect match with your skin.”

21. “There isn’t enough time there, isn’t enough nothing. There is only reality. What once was is long gone! What remains are the transparent roots appearing transformed into an eternal tree. Your fruits already give scent, your flowers give color blooming in the joy of wind and flower.”

22. “You deserve a lover who wants you disheveled, with everything and all the reasons that wake you up in a haste and the demons that won’t let you sleep.”

23. “You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.”

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24. “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

25. “The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”

26. “I am not sick. I am broken. But, I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.”

27. “Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.”

28. “To paint is the most terrific thing that there is, but to do it well is very difficult.”

29. “My paintings are well-painted, not nimbly but patiently.”

30. “I lost three children and a series of other things that would have fulfilled my horrible life. My painting took the place of all of this. I think work is the best.”

31. “I began to paint after the accident, I made the self-portrait with the clouds and the portraits. All, more or less, are from the same period. With the last ones, I was wearing the cast corset. I would get out of bed and paint at night.”

32. “I have never expected anything from my work but the satisfaction I could get from it by the very fact of painting and saying what I couldn’t say otherwise.”

33. “I was already interested in painting when I was about twelve. I was about fifteen when I began to draw. I have the first drawing, a self-portrait that I did in 1925.”

34. “A despair which no words can describe. I’m still eager to live. I’ve started to paint again. A little picture to give to Dr. Farill on which I’m working with all my love. I feel uneasy about my painting.”

35. “You were called auxochrome, the one who captures color. I am a chromophore—the one who gives color.”

36. “I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.”

37. “They thought I was a surrealist, but I wasn’t.”

38. “I’d arrange flowers, all day long, I’d paint; pain, love, and tenderness.”

39. “I am that clumsy human, always loving, loving, loving. And loving. And never leaving.”

40. “The most important part of the body is the brain. Of my face, I like the eyebrows and eyes.”

41. “You didn’t understand what I am. I am love. I am pleasure. I am essence. I am an idiot. I am tenacious. I am. I simply am.”

42. “I was a child who went about in a world of colors. My friends, my companions, became women slowly; I became old in instants.”

43. “Loyalty is important to me. Can you be loyal?”

44. “Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”

45. “I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of madness.”

46. “I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too.”

47. “I put on the canvas whatever comes into my mind.”

48. “My toys were those of a boy: skates, bicycles.”

49. “Of the opposite sex, I have the mustache and, in general, the face.”

50. “To feel the anguish of waiting for the next moment and of taking part in the complex current—of affairs—not knowing that we are headed toward ourselves, through millions of stone beings of bird beings, of star beings, of microbe beings, of fountain beings toward ourselves.”

51. “It was worthwhile to come here only to see why Europe is rotting, why all these people—good for nothing—are the cause of all the Hitlers and Mussolinis.”

52. “I’d like to paint you, but there are no colors, because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love.”

53. “I am nothing but a small damned part of a revolutionary movement. Always revolutionary, never dead, never useless.”

54. “What would I do without the absurd and the ephemeral?”

55. “Mankind owns its destiny, and its destiny is the earth. We are destroying it until we have no destiny.”

56. “But, I do not think that the banks of a river suffer because they let the river flow, nor does the earth suffer because of the rains, nor does the atom suffer for letting its energy escape.”

57. “Can verbs be made up? I’ll tell you one. I heaven you, so my wings will open wide to love you boundlessly.”

58. “Sexism and racism are parallel problems. You can compare them in some ways, but they’re not at all the same. But they’re both symptoms inside the white male power structure.”

59. “Surrealism is the magical surprise of finding a lion in a wardrobe, where you were ‘sure’ of finding shirts.”

60. “They sit for hours in the cafes, warming their precious behinds and talk without stopping about culture, art, revolution and so on and so forth, thinking themselves the gods of the world, dreaming the most fantastic nonsenses and poisoning the air with theories and theories that never come true.”

61. “Since my subjects have always been my sensations, my states of mind and the profound reactions that life has been producing in me, I have frequently objectified all this in figures of myself, which were the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.”

62. “They say never trust a limping dog or the tears of a woman.”

63. “Nothing inside me would be so deep, so final. But, how can I explain to him my need for tenderness! My loneliness over the years. My structure displeases because of its lack of harmony, its unfitness.”

64. “It is six o’clock in the morning and the turkeys are singing, the warmth of human tenderness. Companionable solitude. You took me to you when I was shattered and you restored me to a complete whole. In this small world, where shall I turn my eyes? It’s deep immense!”

65. “The most important thing for everyone in Gringolandia is to have ambition and become ‘somebody,’ and frankly, I don’t have the least ambition to become anybody.”

66. “The most interesting thing about the so-called lies of Diego is that, sooner or later, the ones involved in the imaginary tale get angry, not because of the lies, but because of the truth contained in the lies, which always comes forth.”

67. “They are so damn ‘intellectual’ and rotten that I can’t stand them anymore. I would rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas than have anything to do with those ‘artistic’ bitches of Paris.”

68. “People, in general, are scared to death of the war and all the exhibitions have been a failure because the rich don’t want to buy anything.”

69. “Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”

70. “It is terrifying to see the rich having parties day and night while thousands and thousands of people are dying of hunger.”

71. “This upper class is disgusting and I’m furious at all these rich people here, having seen thousands of people in abject squalor.”

72. “What I wanted to express very clearly and intensely was that the reason these people had to invent or imagine heroes and gods is pure fear. Fear of life and fear of death.”

73. “Everyone’s opinions about things change over time.”

74. “There is nothing left, everything revolves.”

75. “Fear of everything—fear of knowing that we are no more than vectors, direction, construction, and destruction to be alive.”

76. “I followed her in every movement and while she danced, I told her my secret problems. Which ones? I can’t remember.”

77. “The industrial part of Detroit is really the most interesting side, otherwise, it’s like the rest of the United States, ugly and stupid.”

78. “I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”

79. “Diego was everything; my child, my lover, my universe.”

80. “I warn you that in this picture I am painting of Diego there will be colors which even I am not fully acquainted with. Besides, I love Diego so much I cannot be an objective speculator of him or his life.”

81. “I don’t want anything to hurt him, nothing to bother him and rob him of the energy he needs for living, for living as he likes, for painting, seeing, loving, eating, sleeping, being by himself, being with someone—but I’d never want him to be sad. If I had good health, I would give him all of it, if I had youth, he could take it all.”

82. “I wanted to tell you that my whole being opened for you. Since I fell in love with you everything is transformed and is full of beauty—love is like an aroma, like a current, like rain.”

83. “Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. You are the mirror of the night. The violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. My fingers touch your blood.”

84. “From you to my hands, I caress your entire body, and I am with you for a minute and I am with myself for a moment. And my blood is the miracle which runs in the vessels of the air from my heart to yours.”

85. “It’s not possible to present an accurate picture of our culture without all the voices of the people in the culture. So at the emerging level, you can’t have a good survey art show without women and artists of color.”

86. “I’ll wait for you. You responded to a sense with your voice and I’m full of you, waiting for your words which will make me grow and will enrich me.”

87. “To trap one’s self-suffering is to risk being devoured from the inside.”

88. “Years. Waiting with anguish hidden away, my spine, broken, and the immense glance, footless through the vast path. Carrying on my life enclosed in steel.”

89. “My blood is a miracle that, from my veins, crosses the air in my heart into yours.”

90. “Perhaps it is expected that I should lament about how I have suffered living with a man like Diego.”

91. “You too know that all my eyes see, all I touch with myself, from any distance, is Diego.”

92. “I am in agreement with everything my father taught me and nothing my mother taught me.”

93. “I want to be inside your darkest everything.”

94. “Your word travels the entirety of space and reaches my cells which are my stars then goes to yours which are my light.”

95. “All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps filling all the paths of my nerves which are yours.”

96. “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are a bourbon biscuit.”

97. “No moon, sun, diamond, hands—fingertip, dot, ray, gauze, sea. Pine green, pink glass, eye, mine, eraser, mud, mother, I am coming.”

98. “Quietly, the grief, loudly the pain. The accumulated poison love faded away. Mine was a strange world of criminal silences of strangers’ watchful eyes misreading the evil. Darkness in the daytime, I didn’t live the nights.”

99. “I want a storm to come and flood us into a song that no one wrote.”

100. “So forgotten and so firm. Snail shells and the bride-doll is yours too—I mean, it is you.”

101. “Through the round numbers and the colored nerves, the stars are made and the worlds are sounds.”

102. “To my way of thinking, everything has its natural compensation.”

103. “You left us, Chabela Villasenor. But your voice, your electricity, your enormous talent, your poetry, your light, your mystery, all that remains of you—is still alive.”

104. “Name of Diego. Name of love. Don’t let the tree get thirsty, it loves you so much. It treasured your seed, it crystallized your life at six in the morning.”

105. “There is a skeleton—or death—that flees terrified in the face of my will to live.”

106. “If only, I had his caresses upon me. As the air touches the earth—the reality of his person would make me merrier, it would take me away from the feeling which fills me with gray.”

107. “My Diego. I’m no longer alone. Wings? You keep me company. You lull me to sleep and make me come alive.”

108. “I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.”

109. “The caress of fabrics, the color of colors, the wires, the nerves, the pencils, the leaves, the dust, the cells, the war and the sun, everything experienced in the minutes of the non-clocks and the non-calendars and the empty non-glances, is him.”

110. “What do you think matters most for a good marriage?”

111. “I just want your serious opinion.”

112. “I don’t need rescuing, Diego.”

113. “It is certain that they are going to amputate my right leg. Details I don’t know much but the opinions are very reliable. Dr. Luis Mendes and Dr. Juan Farill. I’m very, very, worried, but at the same time, I feel it would be a relief. In the hope that when I walk again I’ll give what remains of my courage to Diego. Everything for Diego.”

114. “I have suffered two grave accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar knocked me down—the other accident is Diego.”

115. “They amputated my leg six months ago. It seemed to me centuries of torture and at times I nearly went crazy. I still feel like committing suicide Diego prevents me from doing it in the vain belief that maybe he will need me. He has told me so and I believe him. But, I have never suffered so much in my life. I’ll wait a while.”

116. “I think it would be better for me to go, to go and not to run away. If it were all over within an instant.”

117. “And to hold onto some dogged idea forever is a little rigid and maybe naive.”

118. “Everything exists, and moves, under only one law; life.”

119. “My wish is to understand lines form shades movement.”

120. “The death of the old man pained us so much that we talked and spent that day together.”

121. “I thought of you a lot and never forget your wonderful hands and the color of your eyes.”

122. “I had something in my throat. It felt like I had swallowed the whole world.”

123. “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.”

124. “I would like to give you everything I never had, but not even then would you know how beautiful is it to love you.”

125. “Fall in love with yourself, with life, and then with whoever you want.”

126. “You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand.”

127. “I do not want a half-hearted love, torn and cut in half.”

128. “As always, when I walk away from you, I carry your world and your life with me, and that’s what I can’t recover from.”

129. “Never in all my life will I forget your presence. You found me torn to pieces, and you sent me back whole, complete.”

130. “You deserve a lover who listens when you sing, who supports you when you feel shame and respects your freedom; who flies with you and isn’t afraid to fall.”

131. “Everything was mysterious and something was hidden, guessing what it was, was a game for me.”

132. “I have heard him tell all kinds of lies: from the most innocent, to the most complicated stories about people whom his imagination combined in a fantastic situation or actions, always with a great sense of humor and a marvelous critical sense; but I have never heard him say a single stupid or banal lie.”

133. “I don’t know how to write love letters.”

134. “I am nauseated by all these rotten people in Europe.”

135. “The ship and the dock and the parting which made you appear so small, to my eyes, framed in that round porthole, and you gazing at me so as to keep me in your heart.”

136. “All this madness, if I asked it of you, I know, in your silence, there would be only confusion.”

137. “I find that Americans completely lack sensibility and good taste. They are boring, and they all have faces like unbaked rolls.”

138. “Her dress is the same one she wouldn’t take off on the day of the wedding to no one, when we found her half-asleep on the dirty sidewalk of some street.”

139. “But, no one can stop freely to play by the wayside, because he will delay or upset the general atomic journey.”

140. “Changes and struggles disconcert us, terrify us.”

141. “We like being sick to protect ourselves.”

142. “I wish to cooperate with the Revolution in transforming the world into a classless one so that we can attain a better rhythm for the oppressed classes.”

143. “I entered and descended impetuously to the entrails of the earth, where ‘my imaginary friend’ always waited for me.”

144. “Why do I call him my Diego? He never was or will be mine. He belongs to himself.”

145. “Rebellion against everything that chains you.”

146. “Since you wrote to me, on that clear, distant day, I have wanted to explain to you that I can’t get away from the days, or return in time to that other time.”

147. “Today, I wish my sun could touch you. I tell you, your eyeball is my eyeball, the puppet characters all arranged in their large glass room, belong to us both.”

148. “I ask you for violence, in the nonsense, and you, you give me grace, your light, and your warmth.”

149. “Diego. Truth is, so great, that I wouldn’t like to speak, or sleep, or listen, or love. To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within your own fear, and your great anguish, and within the very beating of your heart.”

150. “I will write to you with my eyes, always.”

151. “Life goes by, and sets paths, which are not traveled in vain.”

152. “We all would like to be the sum total and not one of the numerical elements.”

153. “We search for calm and peace because we foresee the death that we die every second.”

154. “We take refuge in, we take flight into irrationality, magic, abnormality, in fear of the extraordinary beauty of the truth.”

155. “It has been 34 years since I lived that magical friendship and every time I remember it, it comes alive and grows more and more inside my world.”

156. “Everything can have beauty, even the worst horror.”

157. “The most powerful art is to make pain a healing talisman.”

158. “Then I painted two or three things, which are around the house, that to me seems very influenced by him.”

159. “I have no words to tell you how much I’ve been suffering and knowing how much I love Diego, you must understand that these troubles will never end in my life.”

160. “Opposites unite and nothing new or arrhythmic is discovered.”

161. “Yours is the huipil with magenta ribbons. Mine the ancient squares of your Paris, above all, the magnificent.”

162. “Today, Diego kissed me. Every moment, he is my child. My newborn babe, every little while, every day, of my own self.”

163. “If you knew how terrible it is to know suddenly as if a bolt of lightning elucidated the earth.”

164. “Then the friendship and almost courtship with Diego began. I would go to see him paint in the afternoon, and afterward, he would take me home by bus or in a Fordcito—a little Ford that he had—and he would kiss me.”

165. “I have never seen tenderness as great as Diego has and gives when his hands and his beautiful eyes touch Mexican Indian sculpture.”

166. “Your presence floats for a moment or two as if wrapping my whole being in an anxious wait for the morning. I notice that I’m with you.”

167. “I never knew I was a surrealist till Andre Breton came to Mexico and told me I was.”

168. “Her view of life, she told a friend, was: ‘Make love. Take a bath. Make love again.’”

169. “Sometimes, Diego himself would pass by, and we would tease him. One day, they asked me who I wanted to marry, and I said I would not marry, but I did want to have a child by Diego Rivera.”

170. “The vectors continue in their original direction. Nothing stops them. With no more knowledge than live emotion. With no other wish than to go on until they meet.”

171. “No one is more than a function—or part of a total function.”

172. “Now I live in a painful planet, transparent as ice; but it is as if I had learned everything at once in seconds.”

173. “I remember the fear that Papa’s epileptic attacks make me feel. Christina and I would hide under the bed.”

174. “You felt it, that’s why you let that ship take me away from Le Havre where you never said goodbye to me.”

175. “This is how it feels to be in this broken female body. This is how it feels to be alone. This is how it feels to be me. I dare you to look—and once you look, I’m going to make sure you cannot look away.”

176. “But of the rest, he told me that I was influenced by Doctor Atl and by Montenegro and that I should try to paint whatever I wanted without being influenced by anyone else. That impressed me a lot, and I began to paint that I believed in.”

177. “I missed a lot of school. I do not remember a lot, but I continued jumping, only not with the right leg anymore. I developed a horrible complex, and I hide my leg.”

178. “They live as if in an enormous chicken coop that is dirty and uncomfortable. The houses look like bread ovens and all the comfort that they talk about is a myth.”

179. “And these fucking ‘democracies’ are not worth even a crumb.”

One thought on “180 Frida Kahlo Quotes to Find Beauty in the Midst of Pain”
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