Tree of Hope

Essay by katib_1980 June 2010

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Tree of Hope

Tree of Hope, aptly named, reflects the juxtaposition of pain and anguish against stoic determination to move past the hurdles of life and thus move forward. The painting comes from a long line of self portraits by Mexican artistFrida Kahlo. This particular piece is complex, it goes beyond making spectacle of personal pain and transcends into something more. The main theme here is the duality of life and experience. Kahlo's work is of immense importance, including 'Tree of Hope,' because it is truly a merger of the surrealism with stark reality. The dream-like paintings are pulled from the artist's life; for her, there was nothing more real than the pain she depicted in these pictures. Frida Kahlo and her work is one of the best illustrations of pain from this century. She truly transformed pain into art like none of her other contemporaries. In her own words, Frida described "Tree of Hope" as "nothing but the result of the damned operation."

And true to her work, she has turned pain into art. Something disgusting into something beautiful; something horrendous into something magnificent; turned something most would want to cut out of their systems, into an iconic piece.

Most of Kahlo's work consists of self portraits. She was one of the strongest feminist and politically motivated painters of her time and most of her work was layered with these underlying themes. Her surrealist style was hugely influenced by her heritage, i.e. the culture of Mexico, and her life. This is evident through her use of vibrant colors' in an approach that was influenced by cultures of Mexico as well as influences from European Surrealism. Her work more than often reflects the pain she went through in life. 'Tree of Hope falls' thus falls into...