Frida Kahlo Essay

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‘Roots’ by Frida Kahlo was painted in 1943 with oil based paint. The painting portrays many ideas and shows many methods used by Frida and things about her life

In the painting Frida is the focal point. She uses bright colours such as orange and yellow on her outfit to make herself stand out; she wears traditional Mexican clothing, a long dress with white material underneath and has her hair loose to show the combination of American and Mexican culture in her life. Frida is at a low advantage point she is looking down and there is distant land in the foreground this shows the isolation Frida feels in her life. The painting is full of earthy tones, browns, pinks, greens, whites which complement one another to further express this connection with nature, such as the orange of her dress and the blue of the sky. All of these methods, composition, costume, and colour create a striking effect and draw your eyes to important details of the painting.

Frida portrays details about her life in the painting roots. The use of vines growing from her body and into the earth shows her connection to the earth and her restrictions and inabilities, these vines are coming from her body and specifically from her heart this is a strong expression about how deep these connections are, they could also symbolise her tie to her husband Diego Rivera and lack of fertility. They show how Frida felt trapped because of these things in her life. The landscape in the background represents the rocky surroundings Frida loved at where Diego’s collection of pre-Columbian idols was held and are also likely to symoblise her rocky like and relationship with Diego. These personal symbols show surrealism and pieces of Frida’s life which create a striking image full of depth.

Social aspects of Frida’s life are also shown in this painting. The monobrow represents Frida’s interest in dressing in a masculine fashion and contrast with her traditional Mexican dress to show the mixture of both...
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