On September 17, 1925, Frida and her boyfriend Alejandro boarded a bus to go from Mexico City (school) to Coyoacán (home). It was crowded but they found a spot on the long bench in the back of the bus. In front of the San Juan market, a trolley veered off course and squeezed the bus against the corner of a building until it split.
Alejandro sustained only minor injuries but a metal handrail impaled Frida through the abdomen. A few people died in the accident and many more were badly injured. Frida had multiple fractures in her spinal column and pelvis. She broke her collarbone, two ribs, and her right leg. Her right foot was crushed and her left shoulder dislocated. She was taken to Red Cross Hospital a few blocks away.
After the accident, Frida spent a month in the hospital. Her sister Matilde and friends from school visited her often. Her parents’ health had started to decline so they didn’t visit much. When Frida returned home she was still in a lot of pain. Friends no longer visited and she felt bored and isolated. She wrote letters to them and took up painting. The medical costs strained her family and after several months of missing school, she just didn’t go back. She painted Self-Portrait in a Red Velvet Dress as a gift for Alejandro.
In 1928 Alejandro broke off his relationship with Frida to date their mutual friend Esperanza Ordonez. Frida kept up with many of her school friends through letters and through one of them she met and became friends with photographer Tina Modotti. Modotti became sort of the unofficial photographer for the Communist party and often photographed Diego Rivera painting murals. In 1928, Frida joined the Communist Party and it was at a get-together hosted by Modetti that Frida re-encountered Diego.
Frida and Diego were married on August 21, 1929. Her father attended and supported the marriage but her mother did not. This was Diego’s third marriage and he was twice her age.
I’ve had it in my head to make hand earrings for months now. Picasso gave Frida a pair of hand earrings and even though I don’t wear earrings I’ve always wanted to make some. This was my first attempt, making them from a borrowed mold with glow-in-the-dark sculpey.