Frida Kahlo's Definition Of Self Essay

1734 words - 7 pages

Frida Kahlo is one of the most famous female painters to originate from the twentieth century, and for good reason. Her art is filled with beauty and creativity, but Frida’s main source of fame comes from the emotions that these paintings invoke, rather than the actual paintings. This is because Frida put herself into every painting she did, leaving traces of her presence all throughout this world and these traces remain long after her physical departure. Frida was a very peculiar and unique individual, hence, Frida’s definition of what a person is, or rather, what a self is, follows accordingly. The self is the reality that one conceives, and this self will live long after the physical body dies, continuing on as long as their memories endure. This is what Frida Kahlo defines as the self, according to her artwork.
Frida’s paintings are very diverse, but they all have at least one thing in common: they all allow a glimpse into Frida’s own reality, and some more than others. In the painting, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (Kahlo, p1), Frida is seemingly in a jungle or garden with a cat and a monkey on opposite shoulders with dragonflies buzzing about her head. She also has a hummingbird tied to an adorned necklace of thorns, which is making her neck bleed. The real emotion in this painting comes fully from Frida’s face. Frida’s eyes are blank and staring straight forward. No happiness emanates from these eyes, only a cold, anguished spirit radiates. Even in this paradise-like setting she is chased by her torment. Although Frida has fabricated a beautiful piece of scenery, she still cannot enjoy the lush flora and fauna around her. This follows her definition accordingly. Although Frida wants nothing but beauty and joy, her pain still exists, and she cannot escape her own reality. Even within the most beautiful depths of her mind where the flowers grow and the dragonflies buzz, there still exists blood and pain. Also, it seems that the monkey on Frida’s shoulder is trying to dismantle this thorn necklace, so even with these other guardians or friends that Frida has transcended from her mind to the canvas she still exists in some from of anguish. To extrapolate one step further, Frida feels that no one can help her in this world of suffering, even if they desire to, and she is ultimately isolated in her own sense of reality.
Throughout her career, Frida had shown many different themes of her life through her paintings. It seems clear, through analyzation of her paintings, that Frida lived something of a double life. Frida paints herself in distinctly different ways at times, sometimes she is a beautiful woman with strength like iron, and sometimes she is a frail damsel who has been broken already and will be broken again. Contrasting paintings include Self Portrait with Monkeys (Kahlo, 1) and Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace, Diego and I (Kahlo, 1) and The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth...

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