The Artdog Image of Interest 

Frida KahloPortrait of Lucha Maria, a Girl from Tehuacán1942

This isn’t the most famous Frida Kahlo painting, but I keep coming back to it. Here she brought together several themes that recur in her paintings.

Herself descended in part from indigenous roots, she frequently included references to indigenous Mexican cultures in her work. Tehuacán is the second-largest city in the Mexican state of Puebla, in southeastern Mexico known (among other things) for its vivid embroidery and weaving. The beautiful, exotic Mexican clothing with which Frida created her “signature look” came from there. She also references indigenous culture by portraying the Pyramids of the Moon and the Sun at Teotihuacan left-to-right respectively, under the moon and sun in the painting.

The “split sky” that is half night and half day can also be seen in later paintings, such as Tree of Hope, Keep Firm1946, and The love embrace of the universe the earth mexico myself diego and senor xolotl, 1949). Many interpretations for this have been offered.

She also often added touches of contemporary life in her work. the toy airplane in young Lucha Maria’s hands is thought to be a reference to World War II, which was raging at the time; my best guess is that it might be a model of a CANT Z.1007 Alcione in desert camouflage.

Frida herself was overshadowed in the art world for years, known mostly as Diego Rivera‘s wife. She lived a short but passionate life, plagued by illness, and died of cancer in 1954.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Frida, and the page devoted to this painting, for both the image and some of the information about it.