Frida
Kahlo enjoyed little financial success during her relitively short life, dying
far before the world could see the immense impact that her works would have on
the world of feminism, human rights and latin and mexican culture. Acive
between 1925 until her death in 1954 at the age of just 47. After becoming
bedridden in a bus accident which left her severely diabled, she picked up
painting as a hobby, studdying under respected mexican mural artist Diego
Rivera. She is well-known for her self portraits, which make up the bulk of her
work, and which often deal with her disabilty, infertility and confict-ridden
marriage to Rivera, who held many sexist and misoginistic vues, as well as
being about 20 years her senior. Her portraits acted as a for of therapy, as
she used them to reclaim herself from dissabilty and the gender conformity
pushed on her by her husband. Her paintings are feminine, but not sexulizing,
viewing herself as an individual, instead of as a symbol of sex and desire,
like many painters before her did. She enjoyed distorting her own image as a
way of expressing her current views on life and the world around her. This painting
is an exemplary example of that. It should also be noted that Kahlo was very
fond of the mexican revolution, and many of her later paintings reflect her
idigenous mexican and hispanic history.

Painted in
the midst of Kahlo’s almost 30 year career, and after her divorce to Diego
Rivera, Self-Portrait
with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird is often
regarded as one of Kahlo’s most important and poignant works. This is for good
reason, as the relatively small painting is an ideal reflection of Kahlo. She
faces the viewer with a confident stare, as her eyebrows and necklace frame her
confident face, attracting the viewer to it. With regards to the necklace, it
is made of thorns, wrapped around her throat and trailing down her body. Thorns
from the necklace pierce her throat, drawing blood. Around her we see animals
and greenery, marking the setting as jungle-like. A pendant with a black
hummingbird hangs from her neck, as a monkey sits on her right shoulder, and a
panther around her left. The portrait is backed by a lush green canopy. Blue butterflies
sit in her hair, and dragonflies fly over her head.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Kahlo’s works are intimate
and ornate, as well as very eccentric. She was very consistent in her style and
her approach is unwavering despite how odd the work might seem at first. Her color
palette is equally eccentric, consisting of warm and vibrant colors, which
divert it from more realistic and neutral paintings. Her palette combined with
her folk art inspired visuals make for art that read as very human, and not
overly robotic. She was greatly influenced by her Mexican heritage, in
particular indigenous Mexican culture and Mexican folklore, as evidenced by the
hummingbird, which is a Mexican symbol of good luck and love.