2 Answers

  1. First, it is convenient)))

    Strange as this answer may sound, what else can an artist who has been bedridden for most of her life draw? If you look at Frida's photos, you'll see a mirror next to the bed and a specially designed easel made by her father so that she can write while lying in her corset. She painted herself because few people could pose for her for many hours while she was in the bedroom. If you have seen Frida's works live, you will notice that her canvases are small in size, but very painstaking technically, smooth and detailed oil painting.

    Self-portraits are generally a very common genre, many artists and women artists have left dozens of their own self-portraits, starting with Rembrandt and ending with Zinaida Serebryakova. Exploring themselves, they simultaneously solved many painterly and artistic tasks, because a self-portrait can simultaneously include a still life, be a genre picture, a landscape, an interior, a dream – anything. And if we build a gallery of self-portraits of one author , we will get an interesting evolution of the artist and the person. Robert Falk has just had a big exhibition in Moscow – he also painted many of his portraits, from his youth to adulthood.

    So self-portraits are not some” bug ” of the artist, but a completely conscious choice and a popular genre.

  2. Watch out for the long post.

    This question is in some sense related to the role that art takes on in principle. I think it is not necessary to list all the functions attributed to this type of activity, but I will emphasize that art, starting from the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, has become a way of self-expression and reflection about society, the artist's own “I” and his place in the world (the utilitarian functions that art had previously performed for a long time,

    As a result, 20th-century art experienced the rise of several genres and trends; artists expressed their thoughts and views through canvases, as poets do through poems. Now let's see how this affected the creative path of Frida Kahlo:

    a) The artist lived in an era of great discoveries in European art (which indirectly influenced her). With the advent of post-Impressionists and Expressionists, the portrait (and especially the self-portrait) gets a slightly different assessment in society: it becomes a way to manifest the author's vision, a way to share with society what the author cares about, through the” exposure “(not necessarily literal) of his intimate” I”, the author speaks to the world and at the same time reflects himself (remember Egon Schiele's incredibly strong self-portrait with his wife and child, for example), asserts his right to various kinds of experiences. Kahlo fully grasped the trends of the era, and therefore the abundance of self-portraits in her work can not be called something extraordinary (for example, if she had painted her paintings 150-200 years earlier, she would have caused an unprecedented stir by the genre itself). Now that we have understood what role the portrait played at that time, and realized that Frida Kahlo created quite in the spirit of the era, let's move on to the point about why she turned to this particular genre.

    b) This woman's life has not been easy. Let's recall how she came to art in general: after an accident, when she was injured in an accident, Frida was bedridden. Her father brought her art supplies so she could have something to distract herself from. This “art therapy” helped. But the girl (who was only 17 at the time) didn't have much choice of subjects to draw in a closed room, and she began to reflect on what she knew best – herself (for this purpose, her father even fitted a mirror over her bed to make it easier for Frida to draw from nature). Once again, I would like to note the artist's age – the period of entering mature adolescence, when a person is particularly sensitive to defining himself in society and the world, when, if you like, a person is focused on himself and his knowledge of what is preparing for adulthood. Someone keeps diaries, someone discusses problems with friends, and for young Frida, art has become a way to survive a difficult period and at the same time think about herself. As she later said herself: “I write myself because I spend a lot of time alone and because I'm the subject I know best.”

    Many people note the great sincerity and intimacy of Frida Kahlo's paintings. All because the artist throughout her life tried to understand herself and cope with difficult moments with the help of painting. As an example, she often turns to the topic of her relationship with her husband (Diego Rivera, also an artist who had a reputation for womanizing), who caused her to go through many emotional ups and downs, and to the topic of motherhood (because of the accident mentioned, Frida could not bear children. She really wanted to become a mother).�

    If you have noticed, Frida has quite a lot of works where she draws not only herself , but her self-portrait is in the context of no less important than her face, and “talking” objects: for example, a painting “Henry Ford Hospital.” In this case, we can say that her painting is like a diary (and this is echoed by the very manner of Frida's writing – the setting, details and “talking” objects on her canvases are written with no less (and sometimes more) care than, in fact, her portrait), and with this approach, the constant appeal to herself does not seem surprising.

    c) In addition, it remains to be noted that Kahlo's life came at a time of” renewal ” of the creative potential of Latin America and global upheavals in the country and in the world. In this context, her works express the idea of national identity (recall self-portraits in national costumes, etc.), and also act as a counterweight to “public” art: at a time when Mexican art mainly played the role of a voice of political life, served as a method of expressing the moods of the people (Mexican muralism, inspired by the revolution), Frida Kahlo's paintings focused on intimate experiences act as a reasoner, representing private life, which Nothing could have done this task better than the genre of self-portrait.

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