Many women have created their mark throughout history, and in art, one of those women was Frida Kahlo. Frida Kahlo was a German-Mexican painter known for her emblematic subject matter, vibrant canvases, and a large collection of self-portraits. Her interest in art gave her inspiration to explore different themes and saw it as an opportunity to express herself through her paintings. Her beautiful self portraits were always filled with sophistication and somehow graphic yet mesmerising. Frida’s Paintings and art style had elements of realism but also surrealism and grotesque imagery, but despite that, the attention to detail in her paintings were unreal!
The following are 5 of her most famous, renowned paintings loved by art enthusiasts;
The Two Fridas (1939)
The Two Fridas was painted at the time of Kahlo's divorce from Diego Rivera, and it is thought to be a representation of her grief. It's a self-portrait in two parts in which Frida wears a white European-style clothing with her heart torn and bleeding on the left, whereas Frida on the right wears a traditional Mexican outfit with her heart intact. The two Fridas may represent her upbringing and cultural influences and also how chaotic she felt during the time of her divorce.
The Broken Column (1944)
Kahlo's painting of The Broken Column express the trauma she experienced in her life as a result of the injuries she sustained in a bus accident she went through when she was younger, and this piece is the most visible representation of her suffering. Kahlo's body is opened up in this masterwork, and a crumbling stone column replaces her spine, indicating the accident's effects. Her nails are embedded in her face and body, and tears are visible on her face, but she maintains a straight expression to the audience.
The Wounded Deer (1946)
In this masterpiece, Frida actually used her pet Deer as a model and inspiration. She depicted herself as a deer, which are hunted in forests and are usually frail and delicate creatures. Frida saw this in herself because of how she was always suffering as her health was declining in the time of this painting. She had multiple illnesses, and was at the time still suffering from her long term injuries. She saw herself as a wounded animal who couldn’t do anything to help herself.
Self portrait between the borderline between Mexico and the United States (1932)
Frida loved to travel. She especially did with her husband Diego Rivera in which they lived in the States for four years. During these times though, she experienced many challenges like failed pregnancies. In this self portrait, she showed her dislike in the industrial and capitalist culture of the States as she was dreaming of a more simpler life in her home country, Mexico. The painting shows half of which are industrialised factories, and the other side a more greener area in which was seen as her ideal life in Mexico. She longed to be in her country in which she felt she belonged.
Roots (1943)Her painting of Roots shows her physical body being cracked open by vines and “roots” signifying the human life cycle. It shows her concept of fertility, that everything starts from a seed. Her illustration of this concept was deeply rooted from the fact that she couldn’t have children and conveys how much she longs for something to grow out of her as a woman.
Here’s a little quiz to see how well you know about Frida Kahlo:
Question: Of what descent was Frida Kahlo of?
Question: What type of paintings was she focused mainly on?
Question: Who was Frida Kahlo's husband?
Answer: Diego Rivera
Question: Her painting of a wounded Frida was inspired by which pet?
Answer: A pet deer
Question: How long did Frida Kahlo live in the United States with her husband?
Answer: 4 years
Frida Kahlo surely was an artist who wasn’t afraid to illustrate her emotions and life through her paintings. Instead of letting her challenges eat her up, she was driven by them and didn’t let them surpass her abilities. Throughout her life, despite it being a bit miserable, she was able to put herself in the face of history by creating what she believed was beautiful despite her art being different to what was depicted as attractive. She wasn't afraid to be herself, and so should you.