Frida Kahlo: I Am Disintegration

Symbolism in her work

By Museo Dolores Olmedo

Portrait of Luther Burbank (1931) by Frida KahloMuseo Dolores Olmedo

One of the most fascinating aspects of Frida Kahlo’s work is its symbolism. She developed it in her paintings by using specific colors and certain elements of special significance to her.

Portrait of Luther Burbank (1931) by Frida KahloMuseo Dolores Olmedo

Kahlo’s symbolism in these works refers to the Mesoamerican belief that at the end of earthly life, men’s souls are destined to go to another spiritual space.

The Deceased Dimas (1937) by Frida KahloMuseo Dolores Olmedo

That same symbolism is conveyed in The Deceased Dimas Rosas, a piece in which she depicts the death of a child she knew. 

The Flower of Life (1944) by Frida KahloMuseo Dolores Olmedo

Fertility became another symbol in her painting, at times combined with erotic-sexual elements, as in The Flower of Life, where life and death are again intertwined.

My nurse and I (1937) by Frida KahloMuseo Dolores Olmedo

She took the idea that she possessed the power to give life or death to its maximum expression in My Nurse and I. Here we see Frida feeding herself, depicted with a double personality: Frida-baby and Frida-nanny.

The Chick (1945) by Frida KahloMuseo Dolores Olmedo

In all these paintings, references to Mexican symbolism, culture, and history appear throughout. 

Artistically, Frida grew as an individual; she created her own style and became both timeless and eternally modern.

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