Cultural Versus Opportunities: An Analysis of Frida Kahlo And Carmen Lomas Garza Words 1,715 Both of these paintings show the love and desire to hold on to ones heritage and family traditions which is extremely important in Hispanic families. Both with vivid colors and images. In Kahlo’s “Self Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States”, even though she is a Mexican woman living in a non-Mexican country, she is able to accept both sides and hold on to her own Mexican heritage and culture which it seems she preferred.
In Garza’s “Camas Para Suenos”(Beds for Dreams), Garza is showing the love and closeness she had with her sister and how her mother allowed them to dream and reach after those dreams as they kept in touch with their heritage and culture which is evident in her work. Holding on to ones own culture is important. It should not be forgotten. It should be embraced and tought to ones own children. As Kahlo’s painting depicts, learning of others heritage and culture can be another way of embracing your own and learning to appreciate and discover it all over. The loss of culture can be devastating to the identity of nations and families.
Brief facts about artist Frida Kahlo’s childhood and adult years introduce her complex life of the mind and spirit. Frida. ( Dec 4, 2002) The Christian Century from Fine Arts and Music Collection via Gale) The artwork evokes magical realism without attempting to imitate the gifted Mexican artist, who painted “what she sees in her heart, on top of what she sees with her eyes. ” Kahlo’s Self Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States, painted in 1932, is a very revealing work that gives a glimpse into the heart, mind, and soul of Kahlo herself.
The painting speaks of the connection, or the lack thereof, between Mexico and the United States. It is a very subtle, yet amazingly powerful painting. Kahlo did this painting while she waited for her husband, Diego Rivera, to finish painting his mural in Detroit. During this time she suffered a traumatic miscarriage and was admitted to the Henry Ford hospital. She felt very lonely and isolated from life and all that she knew. This painting is an expression of how Kahlo viewed herself stuck somewhere in limbo, in a place far away from her beloved Mexican homeland. P 34(1) In the front, at the bottom, of each side of the painting lies roots.
On the side that is connected with the United States the roots are actually cables or cords that come from some industrial object. The roots of these objects are black and take different shapes such as long and reaching or curled. They are clearly like industrial cords and are not necessarily reflective of anything that is natural. On the other side, the Mexican side, the roots are actual roots of plants that grow out like natural roots, reaching into the ground. What makes these roots significant, aside from their obvious differences, lies in the fact that one of the cords reaches down, and under Kahlo, touching the roots of another plant.
That plant appears to have brown pods which could well represent how the industrial unnatural reality of the United States is smothering and killing all that is natural, and in this case Mexico as well. It is pervasive and dark in nature. This is further emphasized by the fact that Mexico’s roots are very natural and organic, whereas the United States’ roots are dark, and clearly manmade and unnatural. In this painting, show Kahlo wearing an dress that is very reminiscent of an American dress. It is a simple dress but it is pink and has many ruffles along the bottom of the skirt.
In some ways it seems reflective of the Civil War era, without the presence of a powerful hoop skirt underneath, or perhaps a dress of the old West days in the United States. Whatever the case it is not a dress that is reflective of Kahlo but of the United States . In addition, in the hand that is facing towards Mexico Kahlo holds a Mexican flag. In the hand that is facing towards the United States she holds a cigarette. Her hands are crossed. This all suggests influences she likes, dislikes, and is perhaps confused by.
She is, in this picture, part of both worlds and clearly the side that is relative to Mexico is patriotic and very Mexican in spirit. But the hand that holds a cigarette clearly speaks of the industrial and damaging nature of the United States, perhaps suggesting the negative influence the United States has on Mexico. As it pertains to religious icons or images there are no obvious religious images on the side with the United States. However, when one asks that question, regarding religious, one may well argue that industrialization, manufacturing, and smokestacks, is the religion of the United States.
On the Mexican side are many references to the history and the religion of Mexico. There is what appears to be a goddess statue with two infants, a statue from ancient Aztec religions perhaps, and the ancient architectural elements of Mexico. The entire natural presentation of Mexico is offered in a religious nature, even incorporating a skull which could well relate to the Day of the Dead, a religious holiday for Mexico. The religion of the United States, in this case, would be mass production, destruction of the earth, and money.
The fact that Kahlo is in the center of the painting does not suggest any common ground, but rather speaks, it would seem, of some internal struggle within Kahlo as she sees her nation influenced and perhaps destroyed by the United States. She is clearly a part of the United States and if one looks at her life one can see that her involvement with Diego clearly put her in close relationship with the dealings of the United States. But, she is clearly sending an image that indicates she is not happy with the United States and finds far more peace and beauty in Mexico, her home.
Schjeldahl, P. (Nov 5, 2007) Kahlo is authentically a national treasure of Mexico, a country that her work expresses not merely as a culture but as a complete civilization, with profound roots in several pasts and with proper styles of modernity. P (92) In Carmen Lomas Garzas painting “Camas Para Suenos” (Beds for Dreams), two children can be spotted, sitting on the roof of their home, gazing up at the full moon. Beneath them in the bedroom, their mother is making the bed ready for the children to sleep in, and a crucifix can be seen hanging on the wall behind her.
This image recalls a time of simplicity, where children can peacefully sit and star gaze, while their apron-wearing mothers make the beds in which they will sleep in. The image is portrayed through the scope of a child, and its message calls for Mexicans to remember their culture. Roback, D. (July 13, 1990). In the midst of racism and discrimination, Garza tries not to draw upon any of that; instead, she looks to the family for resolution Mexican-American Garza has generously afforded readers a glimpse of her cherished childhood in a poor rural Hispanic community.
Her daily activities and fond memories are related in paintings . Of the painting Garza stated “My sister and I used to go up on the roof on summer nights and just stay there and talk about the stars and the constellations. We also talked about the future. I knew since I was 13 years old that I wanted to be an artist. And all those things that I dreamed of doing as an artist, I’m finally doing now. My mother was the one who inspired me to be an artist. She made up our beds to sleep in and have regular dreams, but she also laid out the bed for our dreams of the future. P 54(2) This painting was inspired by youthful conversations with her sister and their desire to become artists and focuses on the joyful memories of everyday life with her family. The two sisters, Garza being one, are sitting on the roof close to the moon and stars, sharing their dreams with on another. The fact that they were Mexicans, in the United States did not change the fact that they had dreams they wished to accomplish.