Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Surrealism (pt. 5)

After her remarriage to Diego Rivera, the artist created this calmer portrait simply called Me and My Parrots.  There is a certain quality to self-expression in art that makes stark images like this one instantly memorable.  Picasso's style of Cubist disarray and geometric deconstruction may be recognizable, but Frida Kahlo's self-portraits are individualistic, not necessarily speaking directly to the elements of art theory but transcending the medium to say something, each and every time, about herself.  The image of Frida Kahlo is here painted as a vividly stark, bare, and almost harsh icon of personality, individualism, and identity.  Her eye contact with the viewer is instantly striking; her blunt brushwork, exaggerated facial features, and menagerie of exotic parrots creates a totally foreign environment to us (even though this is merely a self-portrait) which we almost can't enter.  Though painted in a visually realistic way like the old Dutch portraitists, this work is anything but accessible.  It's a strange portrait with almost surreal qualities, and it seems more to look out at us than we look into it.  This is the expression of self in all its matchless individuality and uniqueness.  The self is surreal.

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