A Symbolic Portrait

Frida Kaho is an artist who was able to transform her suffering into art. Despite illness from birth, a serious bus accident that ruined her health and many betrayals by  her husband, Frida lived her life with tenacity and bravery, never giving in to bad luck. In fact, her life was marked by physical suffering, started with the polio contracted at the age of five and worsen by her life-dominating event occurred in 1925. A bus accident caused severe injuries to her body owing to a pole that pierced her from the stomach to the pelvis. The medicine of her time tortured her body with surgical operations (32 throughout her life), corsets of different kinds and mechanical “stretching” systems. 

Lots of her works were painted laying in the bed. Drawing on personal experiences, her miscarriages, and her numerous operations, Kahlo’s works are often characterized by portrayals of pain. Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds. 

The union  with the famous Mexican painter, Diego Rivera, who recognized her talent and her unique expression, was  not an usual one … Diego’s several affairs, including one with Frida’s sister Cristina, upset her. In response to this betrayal from her family, Kahlo shaved off the majority of her signature long dark hair.

On the other hand, she had also a lot of lovers, men and women, such as Leon Trotsky and André Breton’s wife….

Despite her personal difficulties, her work grew in popularity and was featured in a number of group shows.
Kahlo had her first solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953. Kahlo attended the inauguration of the show despite being bedridden at the time. Kahlo arrived by ambulance and spent the evening in a four-poster bed built up in the gallery exclusively for her, talking and rejoicing with the event’s participants.

A few days before her death on July 13, 1954, Frida wrote in her diary: “I hope the exit is joyful – and I hope never to return – Frida”. The official cause of death was given as pulmonary embolism, although some suspected that she died from overdose that may or may not have been accidental.

She had a singular personality, characterized since her childhood by a deep sense of independence and rebellion against ordinary social and moral habits, moved by passion and sensuality, proud of her “Mexicanidad” and cultural tradition set against the reigning Americanization: everything mixed with a peculiar sense of humour. She is famous for her portraits and in one of them she  portrays herself dressed for a party, her hair gathered up and decorated with a crown of flowers, she wears  an earring with a shape of a hand and a necklace of thorns that makes her neck bleed. In the background there are leaves and dry branches in warm, autumnal colors.

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Autore:

Sara Miceli

Classe:

II B – Furci Siculo

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