The Two Fridas- 1939
Oil on canvas
Museum of Modern Art Mexico City, Mexico
A previously mentioned for my thesis I’m focusing on memories. Along the research I came across Frida Kahlo an artist whom I find her so interesting, intriguing and tragic at times. At this point I was discussing memories and identity.
Through this artist we see how her past memories had directly effected her and her work, creating work with strong symbolic images. Like her work The Two Fridas 1939, here Kahlo combined “autobiographical symbolism with cultural symbolism, involving ‘memory work’” (Gibbons, 2007, p.13). In her work we could see how she was directly effected by her political views, her tragic episodes in her life and also her relationship troubles and heartaches with her husband Rivera.This work was infact created during her divorce from Rivera. Gibbons stated that “Kahlo chose to memorialize the dualities and inner conflicts of her identity” (Gibbons, 2007, p.14).
The two Fridas are mirroring each other, both being dressed differently and representing different feelings, clearly showing the divided self of Frida. The one on the left ‘colonial Frida’ has a broken bleeding heart that sprouts an artery that divides, staining the wedding dress, possibly depicting personal anguish and pain. While the other, ‘Tehuana Frida’s’ heart is whole, sprouting an independent artery leading to a small portrait of Rivera (Gibbons, 2007, p.14).
Anyway I thought I’d share this information as I personally found this work so interesting because of the symbolism, and story behind it. I also found it interesting because I realized why people hold on to memories, even depicting them, because they leave a certain impact on people and their identity, like Frida Kahlo.
Gibbons, J., 2007. Contemporary art and Memory, Images of Recollection and Remembrance. New York: IB Tauris and Co. Ltd (A book I highly recommend )