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"Dipingo me stessa perché passo molto tempo da sola e sono il soggetto che conosco meglio".
Frida Kahlo

The Two Fridas by Frida Kahlo

If there is one female artist who changed the history of 20th century art all over the world, it is Frida Kahlo. An artist tied to the traditions and culture of her home country, Mexico. But who has made art his obsession. His passion and his life tell of his restless soul and his anxieties. Frida above all tells the reality that surrounded her.

Today’s post is therefore dedicated to the dual soul of Frida Kahlo and her work The Two Fridas.

The Story of Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo grew up in the shadow of the Mexican Revolution. She was a strong advocate for social justice. But also of the complex history and culture of his country.

She tells people that she was born in 1910 instead of 1907, to be a daughter of the Revolution.

A feature of his works are references to colonial religious art. And also to Aztec sculpture. But these are always linked to the strong themes of nature and inner emotion.

In addition to being known for her personality, Frida’s face is known for portraits. These are made from the early years. Also because due to some unfortunate events she is forced to stay in bed and paint.

Frida. The illness and the accident

In 1914 , his parents and the family doctor thought he had contracted poleomyelitis but it was later discovered that he suffered from a deformation of the vertebrae which attacked and damaged his right leg. It is not the only tragedy in her life that changes her physically. While she is still a student in 1925 fact, she is the victim of a road accident on a bus which forces her to stay in bed for many years in a cast due to the numerous fractures.

So he decides to ask the family to spend their time to have brushes and canvases and a mirror and begins to represent herself and the world around her with an attention to detail and emotional tension that are recognizable in all her works.

She is a woman who suffers physically but also internally and therefore begins to explore her emotional states and to question important themes such as those of the power of relationships and gender issues through her works.

Frida Kahlo and her two souls

This is why she begins to withdraw and art becomes a way to escape and tell about herself. However, nothing is faced only with the pessimism of someone experiencing a tragedy. Rather, each experience is lived and represented also through the joy, folklore and desire to live typical of Mexico.

They are two sides of the same coin, which are present in Frida as often in each of also characterized by this ambivalence Le due Frida . Already from the title one perceives the need for union and division of some of the characteristics of the woman.

Two Frida Kahlo’sThe work

The painting tells of the difficult sense of dualism in Frida’s soul. On the one hand the thrust towards Europe and the West, represented on the left as a Frida dressed in white and on the other, opposite, Mexico on the right as a Frida wearing a typical traditional Mexican dress.

The two figures are divided and united at the same time: they are united by crossed hands, as well as an artery that starts and reaches the two hearts of the woman. The left heart, the Western is open, as if cut in half and we can see the inside. This bleeds and dirty the long white dress red because one of the veins that crosses it was cut by a pair of scissors, by Frida herself. The symbolic reference may be linked to the Catholic representation of the image of the Sacred Heart of Mary, very common in Mexico in those years.

The right heart is intact, and connected through another artery to an object that Frida is holding between her fingers. It appears to be a medallion with an image, perhaps a photograph of her love Diego Rivera, with whom she had married ten years earlier and from whom she divorced in the same year of making the work because of his betrayal with Frida’s sister , Christine.

The message of Frida Kahlo’s works

The story of Frida and her works are very fascinating to me and she has certainly become a symbol offemale emancipation not only as an artist but also as a woman in Mexican and Western culture. Its representation is now everywhere and the message it carries reaches all of us loud and clear.

I love it very much and I rediscovered it thanks to some exhibitions I’ve visited and certainly also thanks to the film that tells its story. I told you about it in my video about 5 films for art lovers. And what do you think? For you too, is Frida the woman artist with two souls who has upset and continues to upset the history of art?

Cover image: The twoFridas , 1939,173.5 x 173 cm, Museo de Arte Moderno of Mexico City oil on canvas, (source The Artchive free use for critical commentary on the work)

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