In her latest work, Ella amo' apasionadamente y fue correspondida (For she loved fiercely, and she is well-loved), Geraldine Javier asks profound questions about the nature of pain and suffering. For her subject, Javier has chosen to depict Frida Kahlo, an artist who, throughout her life, suffered greatly as a result of a tram accident that shattered her spine, crushed her pelvis and permanently damaged her womb. Through this accident, Frida discovered pain, but also the means by which she would be delivered from this pain: the art of painting. Frida loved fiercely. This was true of her father - Guillermo; her husband - Diego; her many lovers. But this was also true of Painting. Kahlo gave herself entirely to the art, and the art loved her back, allowing her to transcend her sorrows in life and transforming her into an icon at death.
It is this transcendence from suffering to grace that lends Javier's work a sacred, almost religious sense - for it is this same tortuous road that saints and mystics travel. Javier accentuates this feeling by deliberately placing Frida at the center of an explosion of gigantic flowers, like a Madonna engulfed in cold flame.
Javier has chosen to paint an unusual portrait of Frida Kahlo. The figure's eyes are looking downwards at a pair of doves. In her 66 self-portraits, Kahlo always painted herself gazing directly at the viewer with unflinching eyes. "I knew that a battlefield of suffering was in my eyes," she once said, and she looked directly at the viewer to show this suffering and to show she was not defeated by it. By showing the icon with her eyes looking away from the viewer, Javier offers a resolution to the nature of pain. Beyond the dark cloth of sorrow, there can be beauty and peace - like the quiet ground after an earthquake, like the stillness at the heart of an exploded star.
Christie's is grateful to Mr Michelangelo Samson for this catalogue entry.