The Work of Frida Kahlo

Essay by jmoneylawUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, March 2009

download word file, 10 pages 2.0

The work of Frida Kahlo often labeled and defined as feminist art continues to describe and establish what feminist art is. Wife of the well known and highly regarded Diego Rivera, Frida struggled to become an artist in her own right. Her extremely passionate love for and devotion to her husband manifested itself in an unusual manner in their already unconventional and unique marriage. However it is partly this obsession with Diego that helped motivate her own success as a feminist artist. Her passionate political and revolutionary spirit resonates in the subjects of her paintings as she herself states, "I want my work to be a contribution to the struggle of the people for peace and liberty." (Herrera p.263). She confronts her pain and suffering and openly exposes herself in her work. Essentially Kahlo's work includes and encompasses all of the theories and themes discussed in Art History 466. Pain and suffering, active political and social awareness are present in her paintings, and most importantly an acute awareness of the power of the feminine and of feminist art is prevalent as well.

The passionate, seductive and exotic nature of Frida's work is used combined with humor, pain and endless emotion emphatically stating her awareness of the power she as a woman and an artist possessed, despite her unquestionable and undeniable insecurities, frustrations and suffering. She utilized these attributes to her advantage in producing some of the most astonishing works unarguably and undisputably renowned for their aesthetic and intellectual superiority.

Despite its initial appearance of a simple image lacking the usual surreal qualities of Frida's work, her Self Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky is saturated in sensuality and mystery demanding further investigation. With her directed, seductive gaze Frida holds a private conversation with Leon as she presents herself as a gift...