Monday, November 18, 2013

Some Art Learnin': Frido Kahlo, Mexican Painter

I didn't name this blog Around the Wherever for a lack of a reason. I'm interested in many different things that can be summed up into two basic areas: education and travel. However, the way these things manifest themselves are myriad, as are the subjects covered in this blog. 

Below is a biography I wrote about Kahlo for my Art History class. Since I spent two months of my life doing homework on my breaks at work and during pretty much every spare moment, I may as well share the fruits of my labor. It'll probably get very fruity up in here indeed as I share more of the work.

Also, here is my disclaimer: the following is copyright 2013 by Around the Wherever. Do not reproduce in any way (especially if you're writing a paper for a class; don't be academically dishonest and copy this in any form).


Frida Kahlo, the daughter of a Mexican mother and a German mother, was a Mexican artist famous for painting “the painful details of her life as powerful symbols for the psychological pain of human existence,” according to Fred S. Kleiner (893). 

Born in 1907, Kahlo suffered from polio and mostly recovered but then was injured in a bus accident and faced a lengthy recovery time where she was bedridden. To pass the time, she began painting, which turned into her career though she never received formal training (Frida Kahlo).

As a 22 year old, Frida married the internationally famous mural painter, Diego Rivera. Their marriage was a tumultuous one with the couple separating, divorcing, and even marrying again (Frida Kahlo). Kahlo’s paintings were heavily influenced by events both within her life as well as events at the time in Mexico. When she was three, the Mexican Revolution occurred, which changed the country politically and culturally with a sense of nationalism becoming strong. As a result of the nationalism, a “renaissance of cultural renewal glorifying Mexico's native roots took place” and mural painting became an important way to express pride in Mexico (Frida Kahlo).

In addition to nationalism influencing Kahlo and her paintings, painful events in her own life also shaped her painting. She faced constant pain from the car accident, even losing a leg to gangrene later in life (Frida Kahlo). Her marriage was turbulent as well. Through these trials and tribulations, Kahlo turned to painting for solace, pouring out her pain in the paintings.

Kahlo was labeled by André Benton as a Natural Surrealist but Kahlo did not agree; “she firmly rejected the surrealist label, contending that her work dissolved the distinctions between reality and fantasy” (Frida Kahlo). The majority of her paintings were self-portraits. 

At 47 years old and after a life of pain, Kahlo died July 13, 1954 (Frida Kahlo).

Works Cited
"Frida Kahlo." Dictionary of Hispanic Biography. Gale, 1996. Biography In Context. Web. 9 Oct. 2013.

Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: a Global History. Vol. 2. 14th ed. [Australia]: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013.

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