the story of her life, as she saw it...

This gallery is a collection of oil paintings, depicting the life and pain of Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo. Señora Kahlo was plagued by her seemingly inability to birth a child. Emotional and physical trauma caused the rebellious Frida to carry herself as a symbol of strength, but in reality the artist was consumed by her loss and constant physical pain.

In this portrait a large statured topless wet nurse breast feeds an infant. The woman's face has been covered with a dark expressionless mask almost robotic in its appearance. The infant in body is the artist Frida Kahlo, with the head of her adult self. The background is a garden filled with trees and one noticeably large leaf turned backwards exposing its veins. The sky is dark filled with grey clouds. White drips from the sky like the two milk droplets falling from each of the wet nurse's breasts. The graphic images depict Frida attached to the mammory glands exposed to the naked eye as if in an X-ray. The focus of the works darkness and detachment of what would normally be a moment of bonding. The two people stare blankly into space not connected to each other other than the obvious. The curved lines of the shoulders convey the lack of support given by both parties. The artist uses more wavy like lines to connect the movement and texture of the piece. The brushstrokes make the viewer feel the whisper of the hair that cover and texture the child's face.
A sea of waves roll behind Frida Kahlo's 1926 self portrait. Frida stands poised looking to her right. As with most her self portraits, her eyebrows are famously connected. The burgundy of her dress is reflected in her eyes and is matched by her lip color. Her neck is like her frame, long and lean. Emphasis is again on the neck when the viewer is drawn to the gold embroidery trimmed in black that surrounds the neck line of the velvet dress. There is a single cloud hovering on the right side of the sky. The lines of the painting seem shape her silhouette and allude to her strength in the midst of obvious commotion. Her stance is firmly planted in the midst of the darkly colored ocean. The strength of the colors are opposite the normal calm blue of the sea, implying intensity in the world that surrounds her.
Painter, Frida Kahlo, depicts herself in a hospital bed that is clearly not in a hospital in the painting Henry Ford Hospital. This painting is a graphic depiction of the horrors of miscarriage. One tear drops from the eye of the until recently mother-to-be. Her hand clutches her emptying womb as she simultaneously holds onto love and her pain. An industrial city is the vanishing point. Six figures float around her naked body while she lies in the bed bleeding, seemingly out in the open, not hidden from public view. One of the six objects is a replica of the female reproductive system and is displayed as if she were trying to study herself. Secondly, a baby boy floats closely above the bed with his legs closed and arms folded. The artist has covered the child with beautiful almost invisible lines covering him in hair like his mother. A snail hovers possibly to reflect the slow pace of miscarriage. Her pelvis and an orchid from her son lay closely and almost parallel to the baby above her. The sixth item is a machine to connect the viewer to the cold feelings associated with the process. The bed is suspended in the middle of a empty land with only the hospital's name to associate it with the institution. The artist uses the open space to convey the a feeling of loneliness and exposure. She is literally exposed to the world in the scene, laying a puddle of blood with only her bent legs to hide all but a few of her pubic hairs.
As if from a dream, a bloodied bed holds the body of a pregnant, Frida Kahlo. Her eyes are closed in bed but on either side of the bed are drawings of both herself and her husband. Her eyes are open, his unfinished. One baby lies on the bed posed and connected with symmetry to his mother, one arm bent, the other slightly straightened, legs crossed. Another baby is still in the womb. The dream sequence is the focus even more as a background scene depicts a set of doctors working on an adult figure on a tilted stretcher. Possibly the stretcher is tilted to hold the baby in position in the womb, signifying some signs of distress in the pregnancy. Assumptions would lead the viewer to believe that the concern was for the health of the blossoming family. Kahlo balances her current reality with what was hopefully her future by suspending the characters throughout the space.
Large tears fall from the eyes of Frida Kahlo as she stands in the middle of this lithograph on paper. Maybe she choose this medium to convey the exactness of what happened to her physically and emotionally. Her deceased son is in the lower right hand corner and he can also be found in the womb, still connected to his mother by the umbilical cord. The left side of her body is darker from the armpit down. The shading unites that part of her body to feeling the blood gives to the painting. She has drawn an additional limb on herself to holding palette as if doing the actual painting itself from inside the painting. The lines of her pubic hairs point to the blood that drips from her vagina into the earth and into the background. The repetition of the blood flows through the photo feeding the earth as the flowers seem to bloom human organs. The area surrounding the blooming flowers is the only area not surrounded by droplets of blood. Sperm like figures transfer from the dryness in to the mostly wet surroundings of the medium. Above the artist palette is the far left corner is a moon covered one-fourth by a silhouette of a weeping face. Small lines on her breast in the nipple could symbolize the the pain of the pregnant breast. Above the son located outside the womb are two sets of cells. One pair similar but separated while the pair below are connected and combining together as one. The unity of the lithograph is connected by the medium and the graphic portrayal of such a sensitive situation.
In the background of this self portrait is the contrast of a beautiful blue sky and a rough and cracked green earth. The centerpiece is Frida Kahlo, naked from the waist up, connected to the cracked earth by being herself cracked open to display an internally cracked column. The column is shaken and crumbling, although it is supporting her body from the neck down. Nails cover her body to symbolize the pain that she was in. Although her breasts are perfectly positioned the left breast has larger nails in it closer to her heart, maybe to symbolize heartbreak. The larger nails appear again in her midsection and on the right side of her womb. Possibly this is to signify areas of intense pain. Tears cover her nail ridden face, but the look is that of strength and determination. That strength seems to be physically supported my the leather covered straps that encase her body. The artist uses greens and blues to continue to convey the strength of life in the midst of cracks and pain. Connecting many of her portraits to herself is her signature unibrow.
The pressures of pain and loss jump from this artwork. The artist has been clearly affected and is reflecting how she feels. Absent is the signature unibrow and hidden is her normally neatly coiffed black hair. A rose colored mask hides the tan tones of her skin. Large leaves fill the background as tears flow from the green eyes hidden behind the mask. Her hand is portioned largely is supporting her distraught and weak face. The curves of her lips and eyebrows (both sets) are frowned and uncharacteristically disheveled purple hair frames her face.
Thirteen members of Frida Kahlo's family including herself is the focus of this portrait. The top half the the family members have transitioned to another dimension in the blue skies of the top half artwork. Sets of clouds hold their buts in the air. Frida is positioned center her siblings and directly beside an embryo, likely an representation of the children she lost to miscarriage. Three of the family members are unfinished. The smallest of the unfinished figures face seems to be smeared in red paint. Could that possibly symbolize blood? The curve of the lines in the portrait connect all the family to each other. The embryo is even connected almost invisibly by a white line from Frida to her sister.
One third of the background is covered with surrealist art. A huge white bird hovers over a bleeding earth on the right. While on the left a bearded Karl Max looks over the artist. The idea is that convey that Marxism can heal the sick and save the world. An American Eagle with the head of Uncle Sam is choked by a bodiless arm in the upper right hand corner. Another set of hands enter the center of the portrait to embrace Ms. Kahlo with the right hand having a eye in its palm dropping a single tear. A well ventilated metal corset supports her frame and nipples erect, her poise is that of strength and power. This message is untied with the symbolism of the fallen crutches. The only thing supporting her now is her book and the hands both of Marxism. The colors in this piece convey the sense of brightness and hope that are not found in some of her earlier works. Her skirt is a strong green color with a beautiful white trim. Clearly the artist has found some sense of relief for her pain, she would transition in the same year, 1954.
Out of hues of red, orange and brown leaves emerges a huge trunk with a vein similar in likeness to the dorsal vein. The trunk enters into the flower and explodes into rays of gold. The flower has two limbs similar to fallopian tubes and fimbriae, perched ready to catch the fertilized sphere in the top left hand corner of the portrait after fertilization. The importance of the fertility is conveyed through the single lightening bolt in the right hand upper corner. The strength of the message is represented by the strong lines and the intensity of color. The artists technique makes the texture of the scene jump off of the page. The meaning is clearly to have life, we must focus on it's strength and resilience.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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