Frida Kahlo and Self-Portraiture

28 Oct

As a local Mexican art critic wrote at the time of Frida’s first and last exposition in her home country, “It is impossible to separate the life and the work of this extraordinary person. Her paintings are her biography.”. Frida Kahlo is one of the most influential examples in the art of self-portraiture to me. She lived a life full of disgraces -both physical and emotional- that characterized her work the way a personal journal could have worked for everyone else. Her perception of herself is a prove of hours spent on her own that allowed her mind to focus on the philosophy of pain that ruled her life. She started painting to support her family, facing all the challenges she had to while having an ill parent and a whole dysfunctional body herself. She found happiness in what she did, and got attached to a love that would be the cause and cure of most of her depressions. Living an unstable life, she still had herself and the power of self-expression, outcoming all the inconveniences that a conservative and traditionalist background could do to her personality.

These are some of my favorites:

This one really makes me think of how she felt about life.

Right after having a violent and involuntary abortion due to her difficult physical condition.

“Mira que si te quise fue por el pelo, y ahora que estas pelona ya no te quiero” + musical staff.

This one was painted after her divorce with Diego Rivera. She struggled with the image of his ex-husband having an affair with her sister and best friend for the rest of her life.

“The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.” – this is exactly the way I write.

It’s not that I’m writing this to bring up anything new about Firda’s biography. There’s lots of information about her written in a much more insightful way. I am writing this because I understand Frida’s pain and connect with her in a very strong level thanks to her self-portraits. I believe in her suffering and see her escapism and thoughtfulness on painting herself. And I think this is a great reflection of what I’m trying to do here. I take pictures of myself and write something along because I find it very important to my own awareness. Some of them are happy, some others aren’t, but they are all mine and have a very powerful impact on me. I find myself in perfect peace with my own being, and I would like everyone else to do the same.

In her last diary entry she wrote “I hope the end is joyful – and I hope never to come back – Frida.”

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3 Responses to “Frida Kahlo and Self-Portraiture”

  1. mallary October 29, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    I love that you put this in here. So lovely to read this morning with my coffee and hoodie and little kitty snuggled next to me.

  2. Katushka Millones November 8, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    Dear Soto Jr. what a coincidence! Frida Kahlo, dejó una huella profunda en mí, gracias por el artículo, muy bello!
    Cantando ahora para ella con tus papis! Un placer…
    Regards, Katushka

  3. self-captured November 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Vaya Katushka que sorpresa! Debemos coincidir pronto!

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