Frida Kahlo And Blogging

The other day, I spent some time using Blogspot's 'random blog' feature. All sorts of unexpected things came up. Teenagers moaning about exam revision. War correspondents painting grim pictures of fractured countries. Holidaymakers giving day-by-day accounts of their bicycle journeys around Europe. I found myself clicking on 'Next Blog >>' in an increasingly obsessive manner... - and then I remembered that I've got a well-rehearsed sneer for moments when anyone utters the words 'Reality TV', but I won't pursue that train of thought right now - ... and I found myself wondering, not for the first time, how all-pervasive the cult of the individual has become. Who are we all that we think our ramblings are worthy of an audience? And not just any audience, mind you, but potentially the biggest audience imaginable. Who am I that I've decided the world would somehow benefit from my own .com? Is blogging the height of arrogance?

And then I remembered the Frida Kahlo exhibition I recently visited at the Tate Modern. Although the variety of works on display made it clear that she embraced a fairly wide range of subjects, there's no denying that Kahlo is best remembered for her surreal self-portraits. Each one provides a sly, ambiguous insight into her life. Each one is painfully personal. Apparently, each one projects deeper socio-political resonances, although these are largely thrown aside in favour of a 'Big Brother' style peek into her personal relationships, her deepest fears and worries. So does that mean Kahlo was one of the 20th century's first bloggers? And does that in turn mean that her art is as valuable as the mental flotsam that comes up when you click on 'Next Blog>>'?

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