Mexico is a solar country… but it is also a black country, a dark country. This duality of Mexico has troubled me ever since I was a child.
Octavio Paz


Frida Kahlo, “Self-Portrait along the Border between Mexico and the United States”, 1932

Frida Kahlo an extraordinary painter and a woman of exceptional mind positions here herself on the border between Mexico and United States. And she has the Sun, the Moon and the American flag compete for the heavens. Her body is slightly turned toward Mexico and away from US. The reason, of course, cannot be that Mexico by understandable sentimental reasons is closer to Frida’s heart. Rather, the reason, is the aggressive role of US and wars with Mexico.

Frida stands on a boundary stone which marks the border. She shares her cigarette with the Americans and rather frivolously keeping the pop version of Mexican flag downward with her left hand. In her painting the sun obviously prefers Mexico and is rewarded for its loyalty with a cloudy nimbus. The crescent moon enclosed by the fuming angry clouds hopelessly tries to match the sun-god! But Americans on the other side “compete” with… their own banner. Frida Kahlo sarcastically shows the American ambition first to have the national banner up in the sky – like the sun and moon – and then to disgrace it by blurring it with technological pollution that is meant to claim American might – meaning “we are so strong, stronger than our own national flag”!

In the same area where we see fossil fuel smoke blurring the American flag (instead of keeping it shining bright), we see the gigantic sky-scrapers futuristically competing with “Trump-towers”, but in reality looking more like giant tombstones – may be, this sky-scraping tombstones is technology for dead billionaires to be directly transported to heaven. But the most frightening attraction is a configuration of technical robots, as if moving on the remnants of Mexican territory. It looks like a column of high-tech aggressive robots. But right in front of viewers’ gaze there is a row of more high-tech machines with some kind of super-electric-electronic power. The impression is that all of it is moving on to Mexico. What? Again? Why?

But on the Mexican side we see historical relics of various types. An overwhelming garden where vegetable and fruit plants combine its fertility, where beauty and might of its flowering petals celebrate natural eating and joy of seeing, and at the same time we cannot ignore the power and truth of the vitality of the garden’s predatory and powerful roots. The roots of the plants under-earth are the underground reflection of the plants above. But it is behind the garden – in the very emptiness of the uninhabited landscape that we see the Mexican history left behind its dark relics.

The statuette signaling the old tradition of sacrificial death rituals is lying forgotten near the chaotic pile of stones. But the most impressive and even the most shocking surprises among other Frida Kahlo’s creative ideas in this painting are the two bizarre rather archaic statuettes of women. One is a black female with a strong nude athletic body, perhaps representation of a servant in an ancient wealthy family, and the other is the white female statute with a beautiful, almost modern, face. Naturalistically speaking, she is crippled, but her crippled-ness seems rather a bit horrifying, as a matter of fact a nightmarish metaphor of a married woman as a sexual object and child bearer. Her arms are debilitated – part of her female function in the family would seem to exclude carrying, lifting, holding and physically nurturing children. In this case she would be left with one main function – to have a beautiful vagina – shining and shameless – female nudity exactly as every man, Mexican or of any another nationality dream of having at their disposal. In other words a white woman with an attractive face can be a sculpted representation of mistress, but, may be also wife and mother of a man’s children, without necessity to work in a household. Her deformities can be the painter’s metaphoric arrangement of woman’s destiny.

In the background we see the remnants of ancient Mexican pyramid, its abandoned fading glory. Frida Kahlo emphasizes the void of the Mexican space, as if, already doomed waiting to be exploited – become the techno-training ground for the technological hordes from United States. Some time ago the French executed their king, while the Americans were euphoric about their precious Grand Democracy, but today it is the Americans who are appealing to their own Despotic leader and preparing super-tech weapons to serve him.