The documentary talked about the Mexican painter Friday Kohl who was best known for her unique series of self-portraits. I knew about her artwork and was quite amazed by her way of portraying self-portraits in an extraordinary expression before I watched this documentary. After watching the video, I understand more about the reasons why her painting was done this way. Her artworks brought the pieces of her life stories to the audience. Her marriage with Diego Riviera contributes the later works of her. It was the main influence of her life.
If she did not meet Diego Riviera, e would probably see a total Friday Kohl. The complicated relationship from inability of reproduction, Dies unfaithfulness, Kohl’s affairs, divorce to remarriage created the Kohl who was physically and emotionally torn. She expressed her life problems in her paintings, her tragic and exotic figures brand her personal art career. However the important event in her life was the undergo of the miscarriage and abortion. It portrayed the painful personal of Kohl that reflected in the emotional disorder of her artwork.
Kohl wanted a child very much, her nightmares ND thoughts about fertility was shown. The fertility dream is the part which I like most about the documentary. It portrays a woman’s struggle and pain for losing the ability to have a baby, the heart wrenching when you wish for a child of you and your loves one but you have lost the reproductive system ability. The artwork Henry Ford Hospital (The Flying Bed) provokes the emotions in us. I would also think that this painting attract the attention the issue on fertility, at the same time encourage the public to take care of their reproductive health.
It would make a different influence to Kohl’s career if she was not living in Mexico. In her paintings, a strong indigenous Mexican culture was shown in the use of intense color and primitive style. She also wore traditional indigenous clothing of Mexico as shown in her paintings. If she was living in Europe or America, the colors she used and costumes will most probably reflect the scene of the country instead. The humming birds and monkey painted are animals in Mexican mythology. The folk cultural content will disappear and she will robbery express her self-portrait in another way.
I am surprised by the Mexicans attitude to death in the documentary. The way they took death in a celebration manner shocked me. She even painted a dead child and put in on top of her bed. Collection of skeleton in her house showed her close association with death, either death of children or the death itself. I do not agree with Andre Bretons description of Kohl’s work as surrealist. Friday Kohl painted her own stories, she did not paint dreams. The dream-like fantasy atmosphere she painted is a metaphor to her own life.
Her pain and Joy were represented by elements that are irrational and imaginary. They were all what she had been through, but not dream. In my point of view, Friday Kohl was an amazing independent artist. In response to her tragic life, she painted. She triumphed over her life problems by her own strength and self- determination. Painting the reality helped in expressing her pain and tears, a way of releasing perhaps helped in easing her suffering process. She revealed her life in art and this has helped to address the issues to the public that serves as a reminder and encouragement.
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