Kahlo 's Relationship With The Surrealist Movement Essay

2103 Words Dec 4th, 2016 9 Pages
Frida Kahlo, one of the most well reputed, thoroughly studied, and widely influential artists today, has been comprehensively misunderstood and exploited since before she had achieved international notoriety. Kahlo’s relationship with the surrealist movement is complicated; André Breton and his fellow surrealists considered Kahlo’s paintings to be archetypal surrealist works due to their outlandish imagery and fantastic themes, yet Kahlo herself rejected the title and even disdained certain fundamental aspects of the movement. As an active artist in Mexico in the 1930s and 40s, Kahlo was certainly influenced by surrealism, but the extent of the movements’ appropriation of Kahlo’s artwork, and personhood as a whole, was egregious and entirely against her wishes. (This is the thesis of your paper)
Three aspects of Kahlo’s persona attracted the surrealist movement to her: her ubiquitous use of indigenous imagery, her unique depiction of womanhood, and her disability and subsequent depiction of pain. Because of these three characteristics, Kahlo was very much the ‘other’ in the context of the rapidly expanding art world of the mid 20thmid-20th century, a trait that appealed to the surrealists. It is, however, precisely this otherness that distinguishes Kahlo from the surrealists; her motives for painting the jarring and confrontational subjects that she did were to express herself, the female, pained, spiritually and politically inclined person that she wa s. While many…

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