The Paintings of a Woman with the Unibrow
The museum I chose to visit was the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. I chose to visit there because I had previously visited when the Disney and Dali exhibit was there and loved the way they portrayed their artistic relationship together. I noticed there was a Frida Kahlo exhibit at the time and thought they would portray the self sufficient woman in the mot perfect way. I believe I am going to experience the real Frida Kahlo and how she painted the life she saw between her marriage, her father’s death, American and also Mexico. I am looking forward to the seeing her aesthetic representing what a strong and independent woman she is/was. There is nothing specific I am not looking forward to in my visit to the Dali, because I have yet to be disappointed there, but to be more disappointed in the way her work had changed after her volatile marriage.
The title of the artwork I found most appealing to my myself was called ‘El Camion’ or in English it means ‘the bus’. The painting is by Frida Kahlo and was painted in the year of 1929. It is a painting done on canvas with oil paints. The style of the painting is primitivism, which is a western art form that borrows visual forms from non western art. The actual painting is 10” by 22”. ‘El Camion’ was painting in Mexico City, Mexico and usually resides in the Dolores Olmedo Patino Museum in Mexico City. It was painted in inspiration of the bus rides Kahlo would take in Mexico City portraying the society of the people in Mexico. I would believe this to be non western, unlike what it classifies as, because of the visual forms of the painting that would be considered non western such as it is not just based on the individual Frida herself.
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‘El Camion’ has an asymmetrical balance. The painting is not symmetrical in any means when it comes to being identical. The amount of people in the photo is an even number and al sitting in a row but each and everyone looks different than the other. I believe this painting represents the catharsis in Kahlo’s life of the literal bus accident she was in on September 17, 1925. She painted what she saw as her last moments on the bus before she was in the terrible accident which was the healthy release she needed to move forward with her emotions or catharsis. In the foreground of the painting, there were several different people on the bus with her. And in the background there are blue skies with on the left side that is pollution in the background which could also foreshadow what terrible things that were going to happen on the beautiful day. There are not may cool tones in the painting, it is full of warm colors such as the orange tones that are a majority of the paintings. Kahlo’s painting is simplistic but powerful.
From just looking at the photo, it is a simple bus ride but it has the powerful story of what Kahlo had endured through her bus accident. The historical context of the work is where it takes place. It takes place in Mexico City. Kahlo was born and raised in Mexico City and then eventually made it to America which I believe is represented by the pollution in the back left of the painting. Frida is neither wearing her traditional Mexican clothing which also would represent her culture, but it representing more of the American experience in her life. The people around her on the bus included the mother and child and the working couple on the left, the social part of the painting including all working classes. The mother looked as if she was not wearing shoes and it dressed differently than the others on the bus, which the others were dressed nicer. The primary purpose of this piece is the Kahlo’s way to release the emotions she had from the bus accident that would be crucial and change many things in her life. The statement she makes is being able to relive the moment in her painting and be a strong woman being able to relive it. She expressed the way she felt that her life was very docile before the accident and then her world was flipped upside down after the accident. She portrayed it as the life she wanted to keep rather than the life that had happened after the accident.
In the text, I chose Mississippi Monday by Romare Beardon in comparison to El Camion. Both pieces of art use very warm tones including red, oranges and yellows and no noticeably cool tones. In Mississippi Monday there is a strong figure on the left which I believe is a powerful woman, that I also believed Frida Kahlo to be a strong woman as well. Mississippi Monday is very similar, minus it being a collage, but there is a boat with pollution in the back much like the pollution in the back left of Kahlo’s piece of art. I do believe Mississippi Monday will be a masterpiece like Kahlo’s work because it is one of the best of works I have seen from Beardon. I also believe every piece of art is a masterpiece if there is an enough meaning to it.
After the visit to the museum, I was nothing short of thoroughly impressed. I was not let down by any of Kahlo’s art work even after all the events in life she endured, in fact most of her incredible art work was from the mishaps in her life. I was surprised by all of the different mediums that Frida Kahlo uses in her art. My favorite part was actually the photographs taken of Kahlo and her infamous unibrow. I enjoyed the entire exhibit and was not disappointed at all. I would go back several times to walk through the Dali again.