She was there. Smoking a cigarette with Frida Kahlo, circa 1940s. 

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Graphite, soft pastel, watercolour, and lipstick on paper. 24″ x 36″. Original photograph Bettmann archive. ©2017 Mary Khan

Dear Frida,

Thank you for the gold, silver, diamonds,

and turquoise.

Paintings and jewels.

Paint anything, anyone.

Paint in triplicate if you have to.

Paint for me, for you, Diego and the universe.

Yours,

Mary

She was there. With Miles Davis at Columbia 30th Street Studio for the recording sessions of Kind of Blue, April/May 1959.

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She was there. With Miles Davis at Columbia 30th Street Studios for the recording sessions of Kind of Blue. NYC, New York, April/May 1959. Drawing inspired from original photograph by Don Hunstein, 1959. This shot features Bill Evans on piano. Drawing ©2017 Mary Khan

 

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Graphite, chalk, and watercolour on paper. 24″ x 36″. Finished work.  ©2017 Mary Khan.

Original photograph of Miles Davis and Bill Evans by Don Hunstein, 1959.

I kept thinking about Cisely Tyson hiding in the basement of her house while the police were upstairs laughing with Miles. I wondered what she was thinking about, crouched down there in the darkness. I wondered if thinking about his genius made her less frightened and humiliated…

I wondered if she tried to remember the last time she had known a brother whose genius was not in the way he played a horn, or made a living or ran a city, but in the way he loved her…

So the question is: How can they hit us and still be our heroes? And the question is: How can they hit us and still be our leaders? Our husbands? Our lovers? Our geniuses? Our friends?

Pearl Cleage, excerpt from Mad at Miles, 1990

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Obviously had to add blue to the piece.
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Pink. This hue is love and Miles is king. Jazz is love. Jazz is king. Jazz is the sound of integrity.

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Miles conceived these settings only hours before the recording dates and arrived with sketches which indicated to the group what was to be played. Therefore, you will hear something close to pure spontaneity in these performances.  — Bill Evans, Liner notes on Kind of Blue, 1959.
Frida & Diego 1931
The decision to deliberately make myself small (along with the choice to tilt my head and wear my hair in an updo) was inspired from the painting Frida and Diego by Frida Kahlo, 1931