Frida khalo


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  • After returning home from an exhibit in paris, Kahlo divorced Diego Rivera. This painting illustrates a literal split between her two selves is from this period of turmoil and self-doubt. On the right of the painting is the Mexican Frida in traditional clothing. Whilst on the left there is an image of a European Frida in a colonial white dress which I think is intended to be a wedding garb (as its similar to her mothers wedding dress in “Family Tree”). In this image the two women are sitting on a green bench holding hands. The anotomy of their hearts is superimposed on them both; the European self is seen through a hole in her dress at the breast. A blood line originates at the cameo of Diego as a child held by the Frida on the right. This twines between them both and is ultimately terminated by a medical implement held by Frida on the left, whilst blood stains with red flowers intermingle at the hem of the dress. The clouds and look on the two Frida’s faces are juxtaposed with the graphic medical imagery to illustrate her internal conflict. The blood also shows us her pain she went through during all her miscarriages and abortions.Kahlo’s work often refers to powerful mythologies of Mexican identity; the Tehuana woman represented for Kahlo a new positive future of a postcolonial state. The political message of this painting suggests that through adopting an anti-colonial position, a healing of the pains of the past can take place. In the analogy of self and nation, Kahlo characterises her own emotional and physical problems as symptomatic of the post-colonial condition. Thus the European-style wedding gown and the Tehuana dress of the ‘The Two Fridas’ reflect ideological positions as much as the historical realities of Mexico’s past. The famous painting is currently at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.Frida Kahlo lived in a society that allowed her to aspire to be a listening wife and ideal mother. She used her weak points, her realization in life to gather more strength and stand up from every fall and produce one of the most valuable feminist paintings I have ever seen.
    Colour was used to provide distinction between the two Fridas. The historical context helped in unveiling the semiotics lying within the artwork. The premises of art were all inscribed in a circle of real-life experiences, stating that this artwork is the outcome of the feelings evoked by an unfortunate women who only dreamed of becoming a wonderful person in her lifetime – which she achieved on her death. Frida Kahlo herself is considered by many as a symbol of strong will, headship and rough individuality.
  • Frida khalo

    1. 1. Frida Khalo 1907-1954 Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyoacan, a suburb of Mexico City. When she was six years old she contracted polio which left her with a deformed right foot and the cruel nickname, “Peg-leg Frida”. Her original ambition was to be a doctor but a streetcar accident in 1925 left her disabled and changed the path of her life. It was after this accident that Kahlo began to paint in order to relieve the boredom during her convalescence.
    2. 2. Frida Kahlo underwent more than thirty operations in the course of her life, and most of her paintings relate to her experiences with physical and psychological suffering. They also chronicle her turbulent relationship with Diego Rivera, Mexico’s most famous painter, whom Kahlo met in 1928 and married in 1929. Rivera was frequently unfaithful to her. Kahlo is quoted as saying about the relationship, "There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst."
    3. 3. In her ‘Self-Portrait’, Kahlo portrays herself as a Christ like victim - the crown of thorns replaced by a necklace of thorns with a hummingbird 'medallion'. This fusion of Christian and Aztec imagery is common in Mexican culture: the Aztec god 'Huitzilopochtli' is often depicted as a hummingbird.
    4. 4. ‘The Broken Column’ (1944) is a metaphor for Kahlo’s own pain. Her spine is represented by a shattered stone column. This is visible through her broken body which is only held together by a harness. She is naked and the surface of her flesh is punctured by sharp nails, recalling the painful effect of flogging on the body of Christ in Matthias Grünewald’s Crucifixion Panel from the Isenheim Altarpiece. Silent tears drop from her eyes as she stands alone in a desolate wasteland without any sign of hope on the horizon. This is a bleak self image but Kahlo’s endurance heroically prevails in this barren landscape of despair.
    5. 5. In the 1950’s, Kahlo’s health seriously declined and the technical quality of her work suffered. Several spinal operations left her crippled with pain and she was confined to a wheelchair. 'Self-Portrait with the Portrait of Dr. Farill' (1951) shows Kahlo sitting in her wheelchair holding her brushes and palette adjacent to her painting of her surgeon Dr. Farill. A section of her heart replaces the palette on her lap, while her paintbrushes drip with blood
    6. 6. In the summer of 1954, Frida Kahlo died from pneumonia in the house where she was born. During her lifetime, she did not enjoy the same level of recognition as her husband, Diego Rivera, but today, her explicit, intensely autobiographical work is as critically acclaimed as that of her male peers.
    7. 7. What do the different objects represent? Open hearts: Stormy sky: Holding hands: Vein: White dress: Amulet: Red flowers: Surgical forceps: Traditional Mexican Tehuana dress: Shortly after her divorce from Diego Rivera, Frida completed this self-portrait of two different personalities
    8. 8. Stormy sky: agitated clouds may reflect Frida's inner turmoil Open hearts: A symbol of Frida’s pain. The heart of the Frida on the left is broken. Holding hands: Holding her own hand, she is her only companion. Vein: The vein begins at the amulet, travels through both women's hearts and is finally cut off by the surgical forceps held in the lap of the rejected Frida White dress: This is a European style wedding dress and represents Frida’s European ancestry on her Father’s side and the part of her that Diego left. Cameo: This has a picture of Diego as a child. Red flowers: The blood intermingles with the red flowers on her dress. Surgical forceps: In despair, Frida tries to stop the flow of blood from Diego but it keeps dripping, she is in danger of bleeding to death. Traditional Mexican Tehuana dress: the part of her which was respected and loved by Diego, is the Mexican Frida.
    9. 9. Image Analysis: Writing Frame Process What has the artist used to make the art work? Consider the materials and media. Was it meant to be presented in a special way? Content TITLE: The Two Fridas DATE: 1939 ARTIST: Frida Khalo Keywords Mise en Scene Write down a list of 5-10 keywords in response to this picture: Describe what you see as if you were explaining it to someone on a phone. Title: How does the title of the work contribute to your understanding of the work? What are the intentions of the artist? What kind of mood is created? What wider issues do you think the artist is exploring?
    10. 10. Content What are Khalo’s intentions in this piece? There may be more than one. ‘PEC’ each intention. Level 4/5 P Frida Khalo intended to… E She did this by… (describe something in the image) C She wanted us to think / react … What wider social, political or cultural issues was the Frida Khalo addressing? Level 6/7 P Frida Khalo is considering ______ in this piece of work. E This is shown by _____ C She wanted to explore _____ How do the materials and techniques used by the Khalo contribute to the work and her intentions? Levels 5/6 P Frida Khalo has used ______ in creating this work. E This creates a ______ effect. C This helps to support Khalo’s point about _____