Frida Kahlo and the Art of Self-Portraits: 12 Interesting Self-Portraits of Frida

21 September 2021

frida kahlo otoportre

one of the most important painters of the 20th century and One of the popular culture icons of the 21st century. Frida Kahlo , is known for his ups and downs, his political views, and his style that goes beyond definitions, which he frequently mentions in his works. Frida Kahlo’s struggle for life had made her an ever-growing and groundbreaking artist, influencing every moment of her life and her art, starting from her childhood. Together, we take a closer look at Frida Kahlo’s art and self-portraits.


Frida Kahlo in her early life

frida kahlo hayatı

Frida, who had an active childhood, contracted polio at the age of 6 and experienced the tram accident that changed her life at the age of 18. While the treatment process continued after the accident, he started to get involved in art and political circles.

In this process, Frida transferred the pain in her body to her art with all her might. He reflected all the physical and emotional wear and tear he experienced in his art as revolutionary, traumatic and tragic. to Frida’s art; Apart from his physical and emotional shocks, it is reflected in his anxieties about his country. He had always been an artist fighting for his cultural identity.

Frida reveals her own reality with all its nakedness in her works. He conveys his pain, death wish, love, lost children, his turbulent relationship with Diego and the imaginary structure behind them with all its naturalness.

“I paint myself because I’m often alone, because that’s what I do best.”


Self Portrait Along the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States (1932)

Borderline Between Mexico and the United States

Frida depicts where she is and where her heart belongs in this work. While he was painting, Diego Rivera was working on a mural at the Detroit Institute of Art. When we look at the details of the table, the plants and machines on the ground show the tension between Mexico’s agricultural culture and the industrialization of the USA. The flag in Frida’s hand is there as a sign of her devotion to her country, and the cigarette is there as a sign of defiance. Frida Kahlo stands on a US-Mexico border stone.


Two Fridas (1939)

two frida

Among the famous works of Frida “ Two Fridas ” depicts two different personalities in his self-portrait. Frida wrote about this work in her diary that she revived the memory of an imaginary childhood friend, but after a certain time she confessed that she was painting the pain and loneliness she suffered after breaking up with Diego. The body language and holding hands of Fridas in the center of the painting show us that they share the same grief.


Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair (1940)

self portrait with cropped hair

After her divorce with Diego, Frida made a self-portrait and portrayed herself as Diego in this work. We are used to seeing her as feminine in Frida’s self-portraits, but in this work she wears a suit similar to Diego’s and cuts her hair. The hair she holds in her left hand is the symbol of sacrifice, it indicates her sacrifice in this relationship. Lyrics written on the table; “Look, if I loved you it was for your hair, now you’re bald, I don’t love you anymore. It can be translated into Turkish as “.


Self-portrait with Necklace of Thorns (1940)

self portrait with necklace of thorns

Frida, another famous work “ Self-portrait with Necklace of Thorns In the painting, he carries the thorns of Christ as a necklace, which were worn on him when he was crucified. The thorns prickling her neck symbolize the pain of her divorce with Diego Rivera. A cat symbolizing evil on his left shoulder and a cat on his right The monkey that was Diego’s gift are available. Monkeys, which we frequently encounter in self-portraits, also symbolize the artist’s longing to have children.


Self Portrait, Dedicated to Dr. Eloesser (1940)

Self Portrait Dedicated to Dr Eloesser

Frida Kahlo has used the rhetoric of Catholicism in this work, she has processed the frightening details from the Spanish Catholicism in her work. He presents the suffering of the devotees to us as a combination with reality. The work is a tribute to Frida’s thorn necklace, Self potrait with Necklase of Thorns she made the same year, but contains less thorns and blood. The earrings in the work, Picasso’s it is her gift.


Me and My Parrot (1941)

Me and My Parrot frida kahlo

Frida and Diego remarried shortly after their separation, but continued to live separately. Kahlo, on the other hand, continues her life in the countryside with the flowers and animals she is interested in. Frida only refers to the colors of her life with her parrots. At that time he had photographer Nickolas Muray in his life.


Self Portrait as a Tehuana (1943)

self portrait as a tehuana

Frida started painting this work shortly after her divorce with Diego and completed it in 1943. This work is also known as Thinking of Diego. The work is about Frida’s desire to have Diego, whom she knows about her relationship with other women. Frida can’t help thinking about him. Obsessive love is expressed in the portrait of Diego on his forehead. In the work, Frida’s traditional “Mexican Tehuana” is worn, and Diego is obsessed with this outfit. Networks symbolize networks that have been or should be established between Diego and himself.


Thinking About Death (1943)

Thinking About Death frida kahlo

Frida, in the last years of her life severe health problems started to live. At the time he was painting this painting, he spent most of his day in bed due to health problems. During this period, the thought of death greatly influenced his works. In Mexican culture, death also means rebirth. The plants that Frida placed behind her portrait symbolize rebirth. The artist perceives death as the continuation of life in another dimension.


Roots (1943)

roots 1943

In this work, Frida reveals the idea that life converges at one point. He represented his body as if nature gave birth. He did not have a child even though he wanted so much, and although he could not feed his child, he feeds the soil with his blood in this work.


The Broken Column (1944)

The Broken Column

Pain is an invariable subject in Frida’s works. In this work, he presented his pain with all its openness and frightening. She is beautiful and strong despite the accidents and illnesses she went through and the bodily deformation she had. The work invites itself and its audience to face these pains.


Without Hope (1945)

without hope frida kahlo

In this work, Frida Kahlo talked about the period when she had to follow a nutrition program with a doctor’s prescription. On the back of the work it is written:I don’t have the slightest hope… Everything moves according to what the hub contains.“At the time he was painting the painting, his doctor gave him complete bed rest and a diet that required puree as food. In this work, Frida describes how difficult this “forced feeding” period was for her.


The Wounded Deer (1946)

the wounded deer

In this work, Frida Kahlo depicted her own face on the body of a mortally wounded young deer. The rotten trees in the background reflect the feeling of fear and helplessness. In 1946, when she made this painting, Frida had surgery on her spine. While the surgery should have relieved him of his pain, what he thought did not happen, and this reflected his disappointment in his work. Frida modeled her pet deer “Granizo” while drawing this self-portrait. On May 3, 1946, Frida gave this painting to her friends Lina and Arcady Boitler as a wedding present. He added a note next to it: I leave you my portrait so that you will be with me all the days and nights I am away from you.


If you want to learn more about Frida Kahlo’s works and life, you can visit the 2002 film directed by Julie Taymor, about the life of Frida Kahlo. Frida you can watch the movie.

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