Sunday, August 22, 2021

Did Frida Kahlo Use Marijuana?

Itzcuintli Dog with Me (detail)
I have been for years trying to track down any reference to Frida Kahlo using marijuana. The closest I have is a reference (via Errol Flynn) that Kahlo's husband Diego Rivera used it, and shared it with others.

Judy Chicago in her book Frida Kahlo: Face to Face says that the cigarette Kahlo holds in a holder in her 1938 painting Itzcuintli Dog with Me is a marijuana one.  Xoloitzcuintli dogs, named for the Aztec god of lightning and death Xolotl, were owned by Frida and Diego; one shows up in her epic painting The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Me, Diego, and Mr. Xolotl (1949). According to Aztec belief, the Dog of Xolotl guards the living and guides the souls of the dead through the dangers of the Underworld. 

Elsewhere it’s assumed it’s a tobacco cigarette Kahlo holds in her paintings (e.g. Portrait on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States, 1932; Me and My Parrots, 1941). She was often photographed holding a cigarette, even in her wedding portrait.