JSU Student Symposium 2021

Frida Kahlo: Art & Politics Between the United States and Mexico


Frida Kahlo: Art & Politics Between the United States and Mexico



Faculty Mentor

Mary Springer, Art & Design


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Frida Kahlo is known for her intimate works through the use of symbolic imagery to depict her own experiences through the lens of imagination and subconscious. While telling stories of her own pain, struggle, and vulnerability, Kahlo also incorporated societal and political ideals within her works. Elements of modernism, surrealism, and societal realism are constant throughout her works. As a woman artist in the early twentieth century, unfortunately her works did not begin to receive recognition until after her death. Frida Kahlo’s works are now celebrated as an essence of Mexican heritage also serving insight into Kahlo’s close connection to her indigenous heritage. Frida Kahlo became a celebrated figure not only in Mexican history, but internationally. The goal of this essay is to argue how Frida Kahlo’s symbolic works relate to her perception of her own heritage in connection with her time spent traveling the United States with husband Diego Rivera in which Kahlo experienced a completely new perspective of the world. In this essay, I will argue Kahlo used her own unique lens to highlight questions of nature versus manufacture within the United States under capitalist control and how Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s communist political views impacted her works, particularly in Self-Portrait on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States, 1932.


student research, art


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Art and Design

Frida Kahlo: Art & Politics Between the United States and Mexico