Frida Kahlo: the life and work of the eccentric artist - Студенческий научный форум

II Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2010

Frida Kahlo: the life and work of the eccentric artist

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Currently, the West obsessed with "fridomanya" and this interest in art and personality of Frida Kahlo was viable. Her paintings are hanging in the Louvre, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, sold for millions of dollars. This woman was one of the idols of the XX century, Hollywood is fighting for the right of filming her memories, the poems were devoted to this person and diary, printed facsimile, is constantly reprinted. There is a possibility to learn all her life from with the help of her art. She sealed all stages of her spiritual and physical development. She is always in the center of her work. Frida explained manifestation of self-centered vision on a such way: "I write myself because I spend a lot of time alone, and because it is a theme that I know best".

Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico City in 1907. Her father was a photographer, by origin - a Jew, born in Germany. Mother - a Spaniard, born in America. In six years, Freda was ill polio, which left limp. Trousers and long national dress  helped her to hide physical defect. Life of Frida changed dramatically one rainy evening in September, 1925, when  she was in car accident. Broken iron rod injured Frida's abdomen, shattering the hip bone. Spine damaged in three places, two hips were broken. Right leg was fractured in eleven locations. Frida was operated thirty-two times. This is a unique world record. She was only 18 years. Agonizing months of motionless inactivity began. At that time, she asked her father to give her the brush and paints. A special stretcher was made for Frida, it allowed her to paint lying. A large mirror was attached under the canopy bed that Frida could see herself.

During that period she began to paint. Her first painting "Self-Portrait in a velvet dress," was created in 1926. This work began the numerous visual transformation of her recognizable and cultivated appearance. The last phase of transformation - "Self-Portrait with Dr. Farillom"  was created in 1951, when Frida Kahlo was confined to a wheelchair. And in the gap she painted a long series of her own image - in their national costumes and the European colonial dress, with monkeys and parrots, in the form of a happy lover or abandoned wives, with a shattered spine and bleeding heart, in the form of a baby at the hands of the nurse - an Indian or a mask of Mexican courtesan on her face. One of her self-portraits, painted in fresco technique, was even  named is Very Ugly (1933). Painting "Birth" (1932. Also known as "My Birth") was painted after  Frida Kahlo has a miscarriage in Detroit. However, the physical and mental suffering from the loss of a child transformed into a symbol of birth and death in general, and born infant bears the features of Frida.

Frida loved life very much - and it attracted people. Despite the excruciating physical pain, she had very good sense of  humor, could laugh heartily, have fun. And only when she took the brush, she allowed herself to think about the inevitable. She dreamed of a child, but  terrible injury did not allow her to have children. Three pregnancies ended tragically. And then she began to draw children. Mainly they werе dead. Although the majority of her paintings, still lifes, landscapes are full of sunshine and light. Frida did not smile on her portraits: serious, even sorrowful face, fused, bushy eyebrows, faint black mustache over sensual lips tightly compressed. The idea of her paintings is encrypted in the details, background, the figures that appear next to Frieda. Symbolism of her art, according to critics, is based on national traditions and is closely linked to the Indian mythology of pre-Hispanic period. Frida Kahlo knew a history of their homeland very well. A lot of the treasures of ancient culture that Diego and Frida had been collecting foe all their life, are in the garden of the "blue house" now.

Influence by Mexican folk art and culture pre-Columbian civilizations of America was strongly shown in her art. Her works are full of symbols and fetishes. However, the influence of European art can be noticed as well. Experts believe that the 1940's  is the period of her flourishing, while her most interesting and mature works were created.

There are several approaches of Frida's art, but one must admit that this work was filled with cruelty and certain amount of shamelessness peculiar to this outstanding woman. There was a strange subject on a shelf in her office, among the books on anatomy, physiology and psychology (she seriously studied medicine, was interested in Freud's theory). That was a  human embryo as a reminder of unborn children. The measure of her suffering can be clearly seen in  paintings of that period. The article once read by her, made her paint one more picture: the dead woman, a prostitute, was on a bed in the center of the yellow room, stabbed with daggers, in the blood, a grinning pimp was near her. At trial, he said in his defense: "It's just a few injections!" The artist made the next painting and has put that phrase on the ribbon, which pair of doves, white and black, were holding  it in their beaks.

Frida Kahlo knew lifetime glory. Her radical left-wing political views and tempestuous personal life (marriage with the great Mexican painter Diego Rivera, and numerous love affairs, including Trotsky), her memorable appearance and strength of will - was the basement of a national legend. In 1953, Frida Kahlo was brought on a stretcher the opening of her first solo exhibition in Mexico. Her last work was created  three weeks before her death. Art of Calo, contrary to her own statements, is not realistic. Hieratic and symbolic, it resists attempts to psychological interpretation, introducing the viewer's attention a number of static and enigmatic images. All genres of art - portrait, still life, paintings on  Mexican identity theme (Mexicanidad), later "synthetic" compositions ( "Moses", "Sun and Life", "Love embrace of the universe") - offer a complete visual formula. Her understanding as a person and understanding of her art is left on the conscience of the viewer.

Frida Kahlo, 1907 - 1954: Passion and pain/ Andrea Kettenman - M: Art-Rodnik, 2006.

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