I've been rather fascinated by Frida Kahlo's art ever since I had read a biography about her, and after I had seen the movie Frida starring Salma Hayek as Frida.
Frida Kahlo did not have an easy life, and her art seemed to reflect her inner most thoughts and her private pain. It has been reported that much of her art is representative of the loneliness she experienced in her life. She also had a morbid preoccupation with death, and one of her last diary entries read, "I hope the end is joyful -- and I hope I never come back".. She was just 47 years old when she died (1907-1954), yet she was one of the most influential Mexican painters of the mid-20th century.
At age 6, Frida contracted polio which left her with a thinner right leg. At the age of 18, a horrible accident left her with a broken spine and pelvis, and as a result she was unable to have children. She married the love of her life, Mexican painter Diego Rivera, but that marriage was a disaster. However, it was during this time that her art seemed to evolve.
In Frida Kahlo: The Still Lifes, the author, Salomon Grimberg, is a psychoanalytic art historian, who has written extensively about Frida Kahlo. Here are a few of the still life paintings that I was fascinated by.....sorry about the quality but, these were snapped with my phone directly from the book (oops)
This painting is suppose to be a self-portrait of the anguish Frida suffered when her husband Diego Rivera had an affair with Frida's sister Christina. The helplessness and despair she must have felt can be evidenced by the ---broken and bloody heart on the ground; sword through her heart; no hands
Girl With Death Mask ; She Plays Alone (1938)
This painting was done when she separated from her husband Diego. The mask actually was to have belonged to her husband, most likely indicating she still wanted him close to her, yet also symbolizing her destruction.
Flower of Life (1943)
The plant in the photo is a mandrake root which since biblical times was said to cure infertility. (Frida was unable to have children because of her accident). Oddly, Frida made some modifications to this mandrake root in her art, which resembled sex organs and was believe to symbolize her missing ovaries and her inability to conceive.
There are so many other great paintings in this 175 page book. Approximately 40 still life paintings which are discussed in detail. For anyone who enjoys Mexican art, and more specifically Kahlo's unique style.
RECOMMENDED. - 4.5/5 stars (Library Copy)