Frida Kahlo: The Woman. The Artist

1529 words - 7 pages

Frida Kahlo: The Woman. The Artist.

Why did I choose Frida Kahlo for my research paper? I choose Ms. Kahlo because she is my favorite artist. I first learned of her in middle school and immediately fell in love with her work. It was very emotionally impacting. I have included many samples of her artwork. The things she saw and accomplished prompted the sensational works that spilled out of her brush. She had not wanted to follow in the imaginative strides of her photographic artist father and granddad. Yet, take a gander at the silver coating of the deplorability of her mischance. As opposed to turning into a specialist, she painted pictures that made individuals talk and examine. She is ...view middle of the document...

Frida Kahlo’s art seems very closely tied to the ups and downs of her marriage and her health. She and her husband, Diego Rivera, had an unconventional, rocky relationship. There was a lack of fidelity on both parts. Diego was a well-known womanizer and it is thought that Kahlo reacted in kind as vengeance. A struggle exists between an artist and their work; I can only imagine the battles that occur when two artists marry. Within the beginning of their marriage, Frida painted Frida and Diego Rivera (Figure 1). At the time, Rivera was already a well-known muralist twenty years her senior and her painting was thought to be no more than a hobby for a quiet wife. Throughout the years they knew each other, they continually painted each other. Frida overlaid his face on her forehead in Diego on my Mind (Figure 2) within which she also wears a dramatic, traditional Mexican headdress. Often times, in her self-portraits she’s wearing traditional Tahuana dress, as in Figure 1. Their marriage seemed to deteriorate in time with Kahlo’s rising success (Lindauer, 1999) until they divorced in 1939. Often times she has been criticized for focusing too much on her work instead of being the docile wife expected of her. The two remarried later that year but it was a financial arrangement and they did not share a marital bed.
While her husband is a common theme so are issues of her health. She often depicted her physical pain and struggle with graphic self-portraits. She “usually located narrative impact . . . directly onto her own body.” (Zavala, 2010) During her accident, she was impaled by a metal pole in her torso that exited through her vagina, breaking her pelvis in the process. She had extreme pain and struggled with the aftermath of her accident. The Broken Column (Figure 3) shows Kahlo’s nude torso with nails in her skin and her torso torn open to reveal a cracked column. The cracked pillar could be representative of the “broken column” of her spine. She was told she would most likely never carry a pregnancy to full term and this turned out to be true, unfortunately. After one of her miscarriages, Kahlo painted Henry Ford Hospital (Figure 4). It depicts the once again nude Kahlo on a bloody hospital bed, crying and holding images of a baby and a pelvis. She went through over 30 surgeries to try to repair the damage and she was just left in more pain. She’d started to lose faith in medicine when she painted Tree of Hope (Figure 5) where a prone, assumed Frida lies cut up and bleeding on a gurney while another Frida in a traditional dress holds a back brace. These self-portraits were a way for her to process the pain she felt. “In Frida’s work oil paint mixes with the blood of her inner monologue.” (Tibol, 1993) They are disturbing images that invoke fear in the viewer. Her torment is so explicitly shown in her blood and exposure that might be felt so unequivocally by the viewer. She demands you feel it with her direct stare.
Kahlo invoked such strong...

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