Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Frida Kahlo

Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird - 1940

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits. Kahlo began her painting career after her horrible traffic accident in 1925. “The accident left her in a great deal of pain while she spent three months recovering in a full body cast.” She recovered from her injuries and regained her ability to walk, but also had relapses of extreme pain throughout the rest of her life. 

The Broken Column - 1944

The isolation caused by her injuries, after the accident, influenced Frida’s artworks, self-portraits in particular. She said, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” Her husband, Diego Rivera, was also a great influence on her painting style. Kahlo and Rivera had a very unstable marriage, but Kahlo pulled inspiration for her pieces from her experiences with Rivera.  

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera - 1931

Her work is thought to be Na├»ve art or folk art even though Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are very important in her works. She created at least 140 paintings, dozens of drawings and studies. “Of her paintings, 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds.” Her paintings were drawn from personal experiences such as her marriage, her operations, and her inability to bear children. Her works are full of ideas of pain and suffering. The pain she experienced in her life translated into several of her pieces. Frida Kahlo was influenced by native Mexican culture, which is shown in her use of bright colors, intense representations and original style. “She combined elements of the classic religious Mexican tradition with surrealist renderings.” Frida Kahlo experienced horrific pain and grief from her accident, but that event transformed her as an artist. She made many inspiring pieces and made a name for herself among modern Mexican artists.

The Two Fridas - 1939

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Google image search, Frida Kahlo

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