" I paint self portraits because I am alone most of the time, because I am the person I know best "Frida Kahlo -
Frida Kahlo, "The little deer", 1946
I have read that all of Frida Kahlo's paintings can be considered as still lifes, because they underline the temporariry aspect of life and the inevitability of death (1). But in these self-portraits, I see also a fierce determination to live, despite all the pain she had to go through.
Frida Kahlo, "Self Portrait with Hummingbird", 1940
By painting these self-portraits, is she not defying her own mortality? If she payed her tribute to death, she nevertheless found a way of keeping a part of her soul alive through her paintings. More than 50 years after her death, people are still overwhelmed by the suffering and yet the strengh of the gaze her portraits set upon us.
For a better understanding of this fascinating painter, here are two old-fashioned references:
(1)GRIMBERG Salomon, Frida Kahlo: the Still Lifes, New York, Merrell, 2008.
(2)UGALDE GOMEZ Nadia, Frida Kahlo: the Metamorphosis of the Image, Editorial Rm, 2006.
and a modern one: