Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica BrownThe fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her dramatic self-portrait paintings featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her artwork brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture with images renowned in celebrating the female form.
Browns story recounts Fridas beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied the many wonderful characteristics of each animal.
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Born and raised in Mexico to a German father and a Pacific Islander mother, Frida Kahlo has become known for her self-portraiture and her unique painting style. Combining elements of traditional Mexican folk art, she studies every detail of her physique and transcends normalised structures of beauty. In her youth, Kahlo showed great academic promise. At the age of 18 she was planning to attend higher education and become a medic, but her fate was rapidly altered after a life-changing traffic accident in which she was hit by a bus. During her recovery she began to explore art — a childhood hobby which entertained her mind as her body struggled to return to normality.
Monkey is a symbol of lust in Mexican mythology. But in this painting, Self Portrait with a Monkey , it was depicted as a creature with his own soul. He is tender and gentle and put his arm around Frida's neck. It seems the money wants to protect her. In this portrait, as well as in some of her other portraits she painted later, she was using a background of big curtain of leaves. With this background , the subject in the painting was pushed towards the viewer.
She exposed her life honestly through her paintings, but her portraits went beyond documentation of her own biography. A passionate nationalist who advocated for the revolution of Mexico and supported the peasants and workers who were oppressed by the ruling elite, she deftly wove a political thread through her work. Her commitment to reclaiming pre-Columbian traditions and purging the effects of colonization in Mexico was expressed in her dedication to indigenismo a political, intellectual, and artistic movement that celebrated indigenous peoples in Mexico. These principles can most notably be seen in her fashion and in the themes and compositions of her paintings that evoke ancient Mexican cultures and comment on contemporary politics. This event shaped her political views and deeply impacted her life and work, to the point that around she began to tell people her birth year was to align with the start of the revolution.