Two Fridas Analysis Essay

To quote a tagline from a documentary on the DVD for the recent Salma Hayek movie, in this take, Frida Kahlo is an "extraordinary woman, who turned her love and pain into art." The complex, historical artist vanishes beneath the legend: Fans love her as a liberated, pansexual goddess figure, but ignore the radically codependent aspect of her relationship with Diego Rivera; they celebrate her radical politics, but free themselves of the burden of having to take stock of her fervent adoration of Stalin and Mao.At the same time, this very popularity has inspired not a little critical backlash, particularly from pundits who seem to feel that Kahlo is the undeserved recipient of critical affirmative action, and paint a picture of her as a minor artist who has somehow scammed her way into the cannon -- that’s Frida #2.Rivera owed his status within the Communist Party in the first place to the force of his personality.

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The politics of the Communist Party at that time were probably congenial to this idea -- by the end of the ‘20s, the Russian Revolution of 1917, starved by international reaction, was fatally degenerating into a cult of personality around Stalin.

Classical Marxist theory had emphasized that socialism was possible only on an international basis, and thus only if the revolution spread, a door that was shut in 1923 with the failure of the German revolution.

Writing recently in the about the Philadelphia incarnation of the current show, Sanford Schwartz embarrasses himself by claiming that when you set the hype aside, Kahlo is a less "powerful painter" than Marsden Hartley (ouch), dismissing her as merely a "regional or provincial artist" -- as if her vast international influence is simply a mistake.

(André Breton, for one, disagreed, writing the catalogue essay for Kahlo’s solo show at Julien Levy gallery in New York in 1938 and shepherding her into the salons of Paris.) So, how do you make sense of Frida Kahlo?

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Pacific University Application Essay - Two Fridas Analysis Essay

Fw-300 .qstn-title #ya-trending-questions-show-more, #ya-related-questions-show-more #ya-trending-questions-more, #ya-related-questions-more /* DMROS */ ., the famous 1939 painting on view currently at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in "Frida Kahlo." That touring show, launched to coincide with the centenary of the artist’s birth in 2007, features some 41 paintings, as well as a generous selection of photos of the woman and the famous people who surrounded her.On the one hand, there’s the mythical, beloved Frida Kahlo, a visionary artist whose work has become the subject of intense popular identification -- a fellow critic recently recounted the story of encountering a kind of hippie cult that literally claims to pray to Frida.But a brief look at her diary indicates that even her most intimate moments were shot through with political self-mythification.Famously, she gave out her birth date as 1910, so that her birth would coincide with the Mexican Revolution.To start with, much that is wrongly thought about her art stems from a misunderstanding of its motor force.A good place to start is the artificial opposition often set up between Kahlo and her legendary husband.The details so indelibly catalogued in her self-portraits -- her colorful dresses, her decision not to bleach the hair on her lip or pluck her eyebrows, the adorning flora and fauna that symbolized Mexico’s spiritual fertility -- are not just the artist looking in the mirror.They are self-consciously foregrounded signifiers of a political identification with the Mexican common people against the Europeanized elite, as in-your-face in their way as are the images of peasant masses that dominate Diego’s mural cycles.The primitivism of many of her canvases, as in (1935), with its compressed, flattened space depicting a man having just stabbed his wife to death, is a deliberate pastiche of folk art (Pablo Picasso told Rivera once that Frida could paint a face better than either of them).She loved Pre-Columbian art -- the couple amassed a stupendous collection -- and told her students that it was the true wellspring for modern art.


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