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Copy of Copy of Frida K

Symbolism in art: Tattooing lesson

Ann PerrySmith

on 10 April 2018

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of Frida K

Frida Kahlo
Self Portraits and Symbolism
"The Two Fridas" 1939
5' 8" x 5' 8"
the practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character
Here are some other examples of symbolism:

Phoenix --> Rebirth
Bear--> Strength
Owl--> Wisdom
Kahlo was influenced by tragedy in her life and her Mexican heritage. This influence is apparent in her use of bright colors and dramatic symbolism.

Green - good, warmth, light

Brown -dried leaves/earth

Yellow -sickness, fear, also reference to the sun

Cobalt Blue - electricity and purity/love

Black - nothingness

Greenish Yellow -madness and mystery

Dark Green - good business

Navy Blue - distance….also tenderness

Red - blood...?
“Me and My Parrots” was created the year her father died and while she was in a relationship with photographer Nikolas Muray. He was one of the most successful portrait photographers in the USA. The four parrots, images borrowed from Hindu tradition, are considered bearers of the love god Kama. They serve as symbols of Frida's relationship with the photographer.
“Me and My Parrots”
An obsession with fertility was often the subject of her paintings. This painting reveals Frida's sadness over her infertility. The weeping sun, fetus and "flowers" reference growing, birth, rebirth, etc.
“Sun and Life”
Hummingbirds are a traditional Mexican symbol of good luck, here they are ironically used in reference to her unfortunate life and her Mexican heritage. The thorn necklace represents Christ’s unraveled crown of thorns, marking Frida’s Christianity. The dragonflies and butterflies symbolize the Resurrection. Her eyebrows and facial hair are painted as she sees them, they do not pose an issue of beauty in Mexican culture.
“Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird”
1. Why did Frida make so many self portraits?
2. What personal events from Frida's life are communicated in the symbolism in the painting "The Two Fridas"?
"I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality."
Frida often said
"she painted the subject
she knew best, herself"
What items in this painting
do you think are symbolic?
What do you think they symbolize?
Frida working on a painting of Nikolas Muray. One of the few non-self portraits she painted in her short lifetime.
Symbolism-the practice of representing
things by symbols, or of investing things
with a symbolic meaning or character
Full transcript