Hola! Today Masterpiece Monday and Art Around the World collide into an action-packed post about a super cool work of art. Okay, maybe not action-packed, but the artwork is super awesome. I gave you a hint yesterday that an awesome unibrow would come into play today. Did you guess the artist correctly?
If you guessed Frida Kahlo, you are exactly right. I am so sorry for that annoying question mark on my feature image. I wasn’t trying for click bait or anything, I just don’t have the rights to the image. I think I qualify for fair use, but just to be sure, I am only including small, low quality images of artworks that were made after 1923. So, here you go. This is the artwork we are talking about today–The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Myself, Diego, and Señor Xólotl by Frida Kahlo. To see it larger, click here or on the picture to get a nice big view. Then, come back and think more about it.
I’m usually hesitant to give a lot of information about the artworks on here, because I really want you and your kids to think of your own interpretations. Here are a couple bits of information to help guide your own interpretations of this piece.
- Frida Kahlo is a painter from Mexico. She contracted polio when she was young and then was seriously injured in a bus accident at a young age, so she spent most of her life in pain (You can watch this amazing movie about her life, Frida starring Selma Hayek. It’s rated R so this is for you.). She eventually regained the ability to walk, but the accident made her unable to have children.
- She was married to Diego Rivera, who was also a painter. He was much more famous in their day, and they had a very tumultuous relationship.
- Xólotl was an Aztec god of lighting, fire, death, sickness, and deformities [Source].
Okay, take those bits of information, look at the painting, and answer the following questions with your students.
Art Discussion Questions
- What’s going on in this painting? What do you see that makes you say that?
- Who are these characters? What are they doing? Describe the relationship between the characters.
- What symbolism do you notice in this artwork? (for example, Why does Diego Rivera have an eye on his forehead? Why is Frida holding a nude Diego?)
- What is the meaning or message in this artwork?
Frida Kahlo Art Project
You can’t study Frida Kahlo and not do a self-portrait project. You just have to. She includes herself in most of her paintings. She is so skilled at looking at herself, reflecting, using her imagination, tapping into her subconscious, etc. Instead of just doing a self-portrait capturing their physical appearance, have your kiddos put themselves into a story or setting related to who they are and what they hope and dream for their life. Think and talk about symbolism, what (and who) is important in our lives, and how we feel about our world. Put it in the art. Think and play and create.
More Awesome Frida Kahlo Stuff
Here is a PBS site, the Life and Times of Frida Kahlo. It has a lot of great info as well teacher and parent guides. It is a supplement to this DVD of the same name (The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo).
There are sooooo many amazing Frida products. You know you want Frida socks. I was going to pick a couple that work with kids like the children’s books, the coloring book, and the stickers, but I couldn’t resist the magnetic dress-up, the paper dolls, the tattoos, etc. So, so great.
Please note, this post includes Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Thanks for visiting. Tomorrow, we head to Japan to talk about one of my favorite sculptures ever.
Click here to find more art from around the world, and come back tomorrow for another installment! Remember you can get the whole month of Art Around the World posts as a PDF eBook in the Curated Connections Library.