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Oil Painting Reproduction Art by Masterpiece Paintings Gallery

Frida Kahlo Oil Painting Self-Portrait with Monkey

Frida Kahlo 1907-1954, famous female portrait and self-portrait oil painting artist
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Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait with Monkey, 1938, oil on canvas, 24 x 18 in / 61 x 45.8 cm, US$250

     The key to understanding Self-portrait with Monkey, which she painted in 1938, is to understand Frida Kahlo. She created Self-portrait with Monkey the same year she had the first solo exhibition of her art works which was held in Julien Levy's gallery in New York (a fantastic success!). It was the same year she began an affair with photographer Nikolas Murray and painted her other famous paintings The Suicide of Dorthy Hale, What I Saw in the Water, Four Inhabitants of Mexico City, and Self-Portrait — The Frame.
     Frida was many things besides an accomplished artist — revolutionary, lesbian, rebel, communist, bisexual, patriot, lover, wife, disabled person, surrealist, divorcee, cross-dresser, 

and the personification of national glory. Born in 1907 in Coyoacan, a suburb of Mexico City, Mexico, three years before the Mexican Revolution, she often gave the beginning of the Revolution as her date of birth.
     A descendant of Jewish jewelers in Germany, her father was a sickly artist and photographer. She considered him warm, affectionate, tender and understanding. But
she had mixed feelings about her Mexican mother, Matilde Calderon y Gonzalez, a descendant of a Spanish general. She considered her kind but calculating, intelligent but cruel, active but fanatically religious.
     In order to express her deep feelings which were often masked, Frida developed her own system of pictorial language with it's own vocabulary and syntax which she used to create her votive paintings. In her twenties, her art began to lose its European and Italian renaissance influence and to more greatly reflect Mexican folk  art.
     Diego Rivera, who married her in 1929, was extremely impressed when he first saw her work:
unusual energy of expression, precise delineation of character, and true 
Frida Kahlo, 1907 - 1954, with Helena Rubinstein
severity ... fundamental plastic honesty ... a vital sensuality, complemented by a merciless yet sensitive power of observation. It was obvious to me this was an authentic artist. It was probably Rivera who cast and marketed her as authentic, unspoiled and primitive — stressing the Indian aspects of her heritage during that period when pre-Hispanic Mexican history and culture were in vogue, having her wear traditional Mexican dress which she continued to do the rest of her life. The clever marketing worked and this daughter of Spaniards on her mother's side and German Jews on her father's side became an ulta-Mexican and the personification of national glory.
     Kahlo had mixed feeling about the United States,
Gringolandia, and this is reflected in her sometimes gruesome art. Although an admirer of American technology she didn't much like the culture: high society here turns me off and I feel a bit of rage against these rich guys here ... having parties day and night while thousands and thousands of people are dying of hunger. She had similar feelings about Europe.

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