Between the Borderline of Mexico and The United States

Between the Borderline of Mexico and The United States
?Image in a self portrait generally communicates to the viewer information about the identity, character, environment, feelings and interests of the artist.? In the case if ?Between the Borderline of Mexico and The United States? Frida Kahlo expresses her feeling that she holds towards hr alien environment, and her cultural identity. This will now be proven through analyzing the portrait to prove the above quote.
Frida Kahlo?s full name was Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón de Rivera. She was born in Mexico on July 6, 1907. Kahlo?s work was mainly centered on creating self portraits, but she did on occasions paint her family and friends. She married world famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, he frequently visited the United States and Frida joined him on these trips to America which at the time was experiencing a machine age, so there were many factories and large buildings around. Frida was not accustomed to this and thus she painted Self Portrait between the Borderline of Mexico and the United States to show her discomfort when visiting this foreign and unusual land. This conveys a sense of Frida Kahlo?s environment which she was subject to because of her husband.
Self Portrait between the Borderline of Mexico and the United States was painted in 1932. Frida chose to paint the painting on a small piece of tin that was 11 3/4 × 13 ½, painting on metal is a traditional way of painting in Mexico and this technique is given the name Retablos.

The subject matter within the painting can be split into to separate parts. On the left is Mexico, it is primary to do with nature and the Mexican landscape. The foreground is dominated by a colourful arrangement of plants and flowers, which roots go into the ground. The middle ground is a dark earthy brown colour and has to other figures in it they both seem to be of a young age, one resembles an ape like figure the other is a young white girl. Behind her is the skull of a human, and a pile of rocks which are not placed in any particular formation. On the horizon there is a traditional Mexican pyramid this towers over the horizon and takes up the majority of the background. In the sky there is two clouds in the white cloud there is a red sun, the darker cloud has a moon which has lightning coming off it. This once again represents that Mexico is a very natural place to live.

The right hand side depicts the United States and how it is a very industrialized nation compared to Mexico. The foreground is taken up by three separate objects which all need power leads, they are a red loudspeaker, floodlight and some machine which seems to resemble a fan. It is interesting to note that instead of roots going into the ground on the Mexican side of the border, but on the United States electrical lead penetrates the earth. The middle ground has three grey pipes leading up to barrels with holes in the top of them. The background is dominated by large building and white smoke that is coming from four chimneys with ford written on them. The sun is not visible on the United States side possibly because of the excessive pollution blocking it. The United States flag is smothered by the smoke also.

Frida is wearing a pink dress which is very formal, she is also wearing gloves and a jade necklace, and braided hair. She is standing on top of a concrete block which read ?Carmen Rivera painted her picture in 1932?. In her hands she holds a cigarette and a Mexican flag. Her facial expression displays an obvious discomfort, as she longed to stay at her homeland (Mexico) this is due to the fact that she did not like visiting the U.S but had to as she visited with her husband.

The painting communicates a lot of things, the main or most obvious is that of her environment. In Mexico Frida is surrounded by natural things such as plants and ancient architectural structures although this structure is man made it is still very natural as it does not harm the environment. On the right hand side of the border Frida feels alienated as her surroundings in the U.S are very industrialized and thus Frida is not accustomed to them. The United States is very dark because the majority of objects within it are made of metal meaning the US is seen as a very gloomy and dark place to live and un-welcoming to visitors. The grey smoke spewing from the chimney also gives a sense of darkened sadness. Mexico?s colours on the other hand are very bright and vibrantly natural, the sun is a bright red colour and the ground is an earthy orange tone, this emphasizes the natural earth landscape of the nation.

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