died – 1954
– seriously injured in a bus accident when 18
– more than 30 operations in her life
– her paintings are filled with the colours and forms of mexican folk art
– at 22 she married famous muralist Diego Rivera
– created some 200 paintings over her life
– Frida and Diego active in the Communist party Mexico
– passed away aged 47
On the right the part of her person that was respected and loved by Diego (the mexican frida) in tehuana costume. in her hand she holds an amulet, bearing the portrait of Diego as a child. On the left, a more rather european frida, that diego abandoned. the hearts of the two fridas lie exposed, a device frida often used to express pain.
the unloved fridas heart is broken, while the other fridas remains whole. the stormy sky in the background filled with agitated clouds may reflect fridas inner turmoil, holding her own hand she is her only companion.
the style of the work is ‘surrealistic’. what the water gave her were pictures of the past and present, life and death, comfort and loss. in the midst of this vision was frida, drowned in her imaginings and bleeding from the corner of her mouth. she is kept afloat by a lasso that serves as a tightrope for insects and a miniature dancer.
“it is an image of the passing time… about childhood games in the bathtub and the sadness of what has happened to her over the course of her life”.
Oil paints are composed of pigments that are distributed within an oil, commonly linseed oil. These oils help the paint dry more slowly than water-based paints, which dry by evaporation. Because of this, oil paintings can be RENDERED at a slower pace. All of Frida Kahlo’s most significant works were painted using the medium of oil.
painting in bed ‘spontaneous influence’
retablo: small, personal paintings
usually painted small works – eg broken column
small metal plates (retablo)
oil on canvas (eg two fridas)
oil on masonite (eg broken column)
Diego described it as ‘original’
vibrant – events – realism
her style would become more primatist
– subject matter often herself
– themes: identity, women’s roles, indigenous mexican heritage, beauty conventions, suffering, resilience, union.
– ideas: independence, isolation, heritage, suffering
– social conditions: evokes emotional (heart) and physical suffering, an identity crisis in the midst of independence, solidarity with ones self
– dress, white, expression, background
– indigenous mexican culture (bright, symbolism, dramatic, harsh/gory)
– female themes and figurative
– european and jewish themes
– isolation as a result of injury
– diego rivera
– folk art
over-arching themes of identity, synonymous with that of her country
dad- hungarian jew mum-spanish, mexican,indian
1910 mexican revolution, she wanted life to begin with modern mexico
characterised since childhood by a deep sense of independence and rebellion against social/ moral/ ordinary habit
moved by passion and sensitivity
physical suffering :
– polio age 5
– bus accident age 18
30 operations painted in bed