Professional Writing: Process and Practice
EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner
Lecture 14 – Frida – Jan 25
Frida: Life Painting
- Celebrity, life painter, and an artist.
- Agent of her own discourse: she was not content to let others construct a story
for her but be the active storyteller.
- Mixed background.
- Kahlo: self-taught, passionate, rebellious, but takes part of female artists.
- A career driven by male models – her father (photographer) and her husband.
- Diego’s paintings: murals that tell a story about Mexican life, class, culture.
- Flamboyant personality: defied definitions of beauty: unibrow, and facial
mustache, even darkened them to pronounce her difference.
- Wardrobe: used her clothing as a statement of who she was. Sometimes
Europeans dress, sometimes traditional Mexican dress, Mexican peasant style
hair most of the time.
- She is a living piece of Mexican folk art.
- More than one Frida.
- Cult of Frida – story of her life more appealing to people, her painting are
illustrations of her life.
- Paintings function as memoir: life paintings, she is using art to tell her story.
o Really stresses the subjective view of Frida’s art.
o Begins to draw after the accident and uses her cast as a canvas.
o Painting is a direct outgrowth of both her physical and psychological
o Several scenes uses surrealism: irrational, intuitive and dreamlike images
link to the unconscious (some painters; dali, Magritte, and Breton).
o Realistic motion before the accident and then slow motion as the accident
o Song changes to distorted sound.
o Climax – strange skeleton figures.
o Day of the dead: a celebration of the return of the dead (Folk Art).
o Use of tableaux Vivant: image of the screen of an actual painting that then
seems to come to life.
o Looking at art as a life event, blocks view of the art speaking for herself.
o Frida in front of the mirror cutting her hair and the painting of her hair
already cut. Shows her heart broken after she finds out the affair her sister
and her husband had. Chair is yellow (madness).
o It is a challenge to gender role -> cuts her hair, wears a suit. It doesn’t
have to be the sorrow of losing her husband.
o Her suffering romantic but more heroic.