Frida Kahlo : Painting Realism, Symbolism, Surrealism.

Frida Kahlo -by Guillermo Kalho

I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone because I am the person I know best.
Frida Kahlo

This was what Frida had written before a few days of her death. The philosophers of the world and the artists of all the genres believed that art must tell a story. They believe that an artwork must have some significant meaning. Here in the above painting The Phantom, the artist Frida Kahlo has injected such a meaning.

It is believed that a painting can tell us a story or depict an idea or a theme. But for the artists, it is important to show the element of art, the element that stirs emotions and expresses feelings. That is the real job of a real artist. Frida Kahlo had never failed in doing her job as an artist.

It was her desire to become a doctor. Her passion for that had made her knowing the anatomy of the human figure general and female figure in particular. She would sit on her bed, before a full-sized mirror. She would Paint herself by looking at her reflection in the mirror. We can see her deep knowledge of anatomy in all of her paintings.  

Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico in 1907. It was very unfortunate that an artist of such a huge talent did not survive for long. She died July 13 1954. "I hope the exit is joyful - and I hope never to return.” 

The Artist: If we closely look at the paintings done by Frida Kahlo we would not miss seeing the use of vibrant colours. Her style of painting was strongly influenced by the local culture of her country of birth, Mexico. In her paintings, we can see the influence of European masters.

via Wikimedia Commons

The Art: Frida's artworks seem influenced by the art movements that had stirred the whole of Europe: realism, surrealism, and symbolism. The above self-portrait was painted by Frida Kahlo herself. She often said: "I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best." She had painted numerous self-portraits. 

In many paintings, she had used her face as one of the figures to be painted. She had tried injecting her feelings in her paintings. 

It was a public talk that her marital life was not an easy-going one. Look at the emotions embedded into the face. Portraying the emotions on canvas has always been a challenge for the clan of artists. But the artists crave to do that difficult job. The artwork, a painting or a sculpture is a record of what an artist feels.

Such recording of the feeling is named sometimes ‘movement of the soul’, too. And if you want to see such a ‘movement of a soul’, then the collection of paintings by Frida Kahlo is the most proper destination. Her visual images, the paintings, are bound to create a crowd of emotional responses among viewers. 

She had done one wonderful painting of two women. And for both of the women, the model was Frida herself. It is believed that she had painted this after her divorce from her husband. 

However, they have remarried with each other, too, to live the second spell of their turbulent married life. In her twin portrait-like painting, Frida had tried depicting the duality that was in her nature.

Frida's Life: As it happens in the life of many great writers and painters, Frida’s artwork had received very less recognition during her lifetime. Frida has a typical reason for that. She was the wife of a great painter of Mexico. Her husband Diego Rivera was a renowned painter.                      

So she remained an artist being shadowed by her husband’s popularity. Frida Kahlo once said, 'I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down. The other accident is Diego.' But her married life with Diego Rivera was like that. she had met her husband in her youth. However, they remarried later, after Diego's first marriage had been dissolved.

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