Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Surrealism (pt. 4)

This work, entitled The Two Fridas, demonstrates her style of Surreal Expressionism.  In a weird setting of storm clouds (but painted up-close like wallpaper on a wall), we see seated on a bench two mirror images of the artist holding hands with each other.  The one on the left is clothed fancily in white, connotative of a wedding dress or other festive attire, whereas the Frida on the right is wearing more casual and traditionally Mexican clothing.  A blood transfusion appears to be happening between the two, as we see a cross section of both of their hearts connected by a single vein that stretches across the gulf of stormy background weather.  The heart on the left is hollowed out and bloodless, but the heart on the right appears healthy and well.  On the left, the Frida with the torn open dress holds a pair of scissors in her hand with which she snips open another vein of her heart, causing blood to spill out onto her lap.  The other holds in her free hand a tiny portrait of Diego Rivera.  The artist painted The Two Fridas in 1939, the year in which Rivera and she divorced.  Through graphic imagery and the overall unsettling tone of the scene, Kahlo conveys a bit of the ongoing passion and pain, both physical and emotional, which she felt at this time in her life.  Also helping to convey the intensity of her feelings is the daunting canvas itself, 67" x 67", one of the artist's largest creations.

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