FARIDA KAHLO ART STYLE.
Farida Kahlo was a Mexican artist born in the village of Coyocan in July 6, 1907. Throughout her lifetime time she made approximately 200 paintings and drawings, around 55 of them being self portraits. Her preference for self portraits came from the feeling that she was in often alone and therefore the person she knew best. Her self portraits are seen as the story of both the good and tragic times of her life. In her work, Frida portrays topics such as gender, class, post-colonialism and race.
Her early work is influenced by the European Renaissance style used by other Mexican artists at the time. Her first self portrait self portrait in a by velvet dress is an example of this. However, with time, her work progresses to Mexican culture making her one of the most celebrated artists in Mexico. Frida uses different art styles in her paintings most of which touch on highly person topics.
Symbolism is an example of the Frida Kahlo art style. One such painting is Self Portrait with a Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, which she uses to show the extent of her emotional pain after her divorce from her husband. In fact, most of Frida’s paintings are a depiction of her own physical and emotional pain. Her physical pain, stems from a bus accident as a teenager where she sustained multiple fractures including a broken spinal column, a crushed right foot, a crushed left leg and a iron handrail that pierced her pelvis. The latter is believed to be the reason Frida had trouble conceiving. Another result of the accident was the chronic pain she suffered throughout her life. She was always sometimes too sickly and bedridden.
Another one of her most famous paintings, The Broken Column, is a representation of the physical pain she goes through. In this self portrait, Frida paints herself naked and split down in the middle with a corset just like the ones she is required to wear throughout her life due to her spinal injuries. Her shattered spine is visible and there are nails covering her whole body. This was painted after a surgery she underwent. Such representations of herself are not uncommon in her other works.
Most of the time, Frida’s emotional anguish in her paintings stem from her unstable relationship with her husband Diego Rivera. The marriage is plagued by unfaithfulness on both sides. At one point, the couple divorce after Diego’s affair with her sister Cristina who was very close to Frida. Following this betrayal she paints A self portrait with cropped hair. The long dark hair Diego loved is cut off and remnants remain lying on the floor around her. She is dressed in an oversized suit much like the ones her husband owns. The painting signifies the pain of her husband’s betrayal.
Andrew Breton once declared Frida a surrealist. She rejected the title claiming that she only painted her reality. Even though she continued to take this stance, Frida is today considered one of the greatest surrealism artists of her time.
Other than her self portraits,she has other notable works such as in the Portrait of Miguel N Lira, she shows her skill in cubism drawn from other Renaissance style artists. Another would be the rather dating and controversial piece named The Suicide Of Dorothy Hale which depicts the suicide of the famous woman.
Although Frida did not sell much of her work during her lifetime, they managed to sell after her death at the age of 47 earning her the title one of the highest selling women in art.
Acrylic/ gold silver leaf on canvas
160 x 85 cm