“Frida Kahlo A Contemporary Feminist Reading” by Liza Bakewell Essay (Article)- by EduBirdie


Frida Kahlo is a female artist with great influence in Mexico and the world over. Kahlo left a huge following for her artistic work beside her image that is a major selling point. Through the use of material art, she was able to put across precise views on revolutionary issues. She is also credited with starting and practicing what she saw effective to underscore her believes.

Article on “Frida Kahlo: A Contemporary Feminist Reading” by Liza Bakewell

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She was not born destined for fame, but a bus accident helped change the course of her life (Pankl 2). Her marriage to Rivera- a commissioned artiste in Mexico City played a significant role in introducing her to the world of art. The accident and the marriage to Rivera are termed as the two accidents that occurred in her life and resulted in complete changes. The question that arises is: Were it not for these accidents would she have been the icon she is today?

Kahlo public image is all accurate. She changed her date of birth so that it could coincide with the Mexican revolution. The purpose of this action was to bring her closer to the revolution and identify her with it. She also depicted her father as a Jew to suit her communism ideals (Hardin 68). Moreover, her clothing was also fashioned to meet her ideological needs.

“She took quite seriously her role as partner to Mexico’s most famous artist, communist, and revolutionary idealist” (Bakewell 45). This begs the question of whether she was doing it out of her own will or was it to please her husband? It is further noted that Rivera https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/edubirdie.com facilitated her strong connection with the culture of native Mexico and especially her work.

Kahlo was also identified with modernity. She is even depicted in a family photo wearing gentleman’s clothes. This shows her constant exploration of gender and sexualities. Kahlo is a good example of a celebrity or national icon. She used her image during her wedding to bridge the divide between Mexico’s past colonial legacy and the traditional lifestyle encouraged by intellectuals.

She did this by adorning a traditional dress and portraying herself as a Tehuana. Kahlo’s rise to icon status is partly due to the geographical and historical conditions. The way she portrayed feminism was not entirely based on the Mexican way but also a global scale. She helped paint the feminine gender as a subject rather than a submitting being. Kahlo also could cut across culture and gender boundaries.

It is important to mention that although his father was German, the Mexicans of Kahlo cannot be disputed. She used her environment and surroundings to material culture (Pankl 12). Kahlo utilized the material culture perfectly well to bring impact not only in Mexico and the whole world. By not only viewing her as the producer of material culture, but her mixed geographical experiences are also brought to light.

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Her work should not be directly interpreted as a correct representation of Mexican nationalism but rather a complex compilation of distinct experiences. Kahlo today is read as a worldwide figure and an icon of increasing national importance in her home county (Smith and Watson 92).

Sometimes Kahlo’s image is viewed with more importance than her actuals works. This is mainly due to her ability to present herself as the symbol of material culture. Kahlo’s rise to iconic status was due to her experiences and occurrences of the time. Kahlo is both a representation of the material culture and a producer of material culture.

Works Cited

Bakewell, Liza. “Frida Kahlo: A contemporary feminist reading .” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 13 edubirdie.com.3 (1993): 165-89. Print.

Hardin, Thomas. Frida Kahlo: A Modern Master . New York: New Line Books, 2005. Print.

Pankl, La. “Made in her Image: Frida kahlo as Material Culture” Material Culture 44.2 (2012): 1-20. Print.

Smith, Scott., and John, Watson. Interfaces: Women, Autobiography, Image, Performance . Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2002. Print.