Los Dos Fridas
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The two Fridas or Los Dos Fridas was painted by Frida Kahlo in 1939 during the movement know as surrealism (Stokstad 1079). Kahlos self-portrait reflects her emotions within her mind and body. It reflects the emotions that she truly feels. Frida does this in a way that others would interoperate as stuff of dreams and nightmares. It is how others see her work that makes it surrealism. Frida writes, “I never painted dreams I painted my own reality” (Stokstad 1079).
Frida Kahlo did the surrealist painting “The two Fridas” at what was probably the second most difficult time in her life. Frida was born in 1907, yet she would say that she was born in 1910, the year of Mexicos revolution. Many believe she did this to be closer to her Mexican heritage. She died on July 13, 1954, at the age of 44 (www.pbs.org). I believe that Fridas influences were her father Guillermo Kahlo a German Jewish immigrant who was a photographer; who has turned her to painting after her life threatening accident which involved a bus and a trolley car on September 17, 1925. Before this accident happened Frida had been artistically encouraged and taught to draw by Fernando Fernandez. He was a commercial printmaker. She served as his paid apprentice, where she would copy prints by Anders Zorn; a Swedish Impressionist painter (Ketterman 12). It wasnt until after her 1st accident that she started to take more of an interest in painting, but it wasnt until after her 2nd accident, which was her marriage to Diego Rivera that her interest and ability really took off (Ketterman 17). I believe that Diego was her biggest influence as well as her biggest fan. It was her two accidents that affected her life and made her work what it is. Frida Kahlos life was full of great amounts of pain and anguish. From Diego being “unfit for monogamy” , to her being incapable of carrying a child, and mostly the amount of physical pain she felt from her body being impaled by a trolley car. All of this is shown in Fridas art. “The Two Fridas” was painted in 1939 while her divorce from Diego was being processed (Ketterman 52). She painted it in her family home in Coyoacan. It shows two self portraits of Frida, her European side and her Mexican side. The Frida you see in the traditional Mexican Tehuana is the Frida that Diego loved the Frieda in the white Victorian lace dress is the
Frida that he did not love(Ketterman52). It shows the two sides of herself that she is trying to identify with.
The surrealist movement is characterized by art that is mostly European and branched off of the Dada movement. The artists wanted “to make something more programmatic out of Dadas implicit desire to free human behavior” (Stokstad 1064). Brenton being a major part of the movement believed “that the human psych is a battle ground where the rational, civilized forces of the conscious mind struggle against the irrational, instinctual urges of the unconscious” (Stokstad 1064). There were many Surrealist artist, Brenton, Salividor Dali, and Joan Miro were well know for their work and were very into the surrealist movement. Surrealist painting tend to “concern itself mostly with the stuff of dreams, nightmares, and neurotic symbols” (Ketterman 41). Frida could care less, she didnt know she was a surrealist painter until she had meet Brenton and he had told her that she was one (www.pbs.org).
“The Two Fridas” shows the two egos of Fridas mind in a nightmarish scene. Her hearts exposed to her Diego. She is being bleed dry by him and his love. Psychologically they share the same blood. She is trying to stop the bleeding by clasping the vein but will never stop because she unconsciously still love Diego (www.pbs.org). The European and Mexican Frida are holding hands embracing each other Frida writes,
“I experienced intensely an imaginary friendship with a little girl more or less the same age