Self-Portraiture - FRIDA KAHLO

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Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 as Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderуn. Frida Kahlo created artworks that most thought of as surreal or unrealistic yet she claimed she was not a surrealist painter. Frida was quoted saying “I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality." Of the one hundred and forty three paintings she produced, fifty five were self portraits. Frida expressed her deepest feelings and thoughts through her paintings by frequently incorporating symbolic portrayals of the physical and psychological wounds she suffered. At the age of eighteen Frida was involved in a bus accident that left her with numerous injuries and psychological scars for the remainder of her life. An iron handrail impaled her abdomen, piercing her uterus, which seriously damaged her reproductive system. Her self-portraits became a dominant part of her life when she was immobile for three months after her accident. On July 4th, 1932, Frida Kahlo suffered a miscarriage in the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. That same year, Frida painted the work titled ‘Henry Ford Hospital’. This self portrait shows her naked on a hospital bed after her miscarriage. The sheets beneath her figure are bloody, and a tear falls from her eye. The bed with Frida’s figure on it floats in an abstract place with six images connected to veins circling it. All six images are connected to the miscarriage; the fetus shows the baby she longed to have, the broken pelvis that made it impossible for her to have children and the snail which is used as a symbol to show the slow paced miscarriage. This self portrait enables viewers to comprehend the pain she was experiencing at the time, through the dramatic symbols used. The composition within this artwork is vital; initially attention is drawn to the centre of the artwork which shows Frida’s figure. Lines in the form of veins or umbilical cords

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