Henry Ford Hospital Symbolism

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Self portraits are used by artists everywhere as a means of expressing their feelings and emotions in a more personal, vulnerable and intimate way. This form of art gives the Artist the ability to dig deep within themselves and pull out thoughts and feelings. Self-portraits express these feelings in a personal view and perspective. Artists are able to give their thoughts a visual representation and meaning that may not have been present before. Self-portraits are very autobiographical form of art, this gives the creator the ability to show the viewer how they personally see themselves in comparison to what everyone else sees. A person’s deepest feeling can be shown through this intimate medium with the use and help of symbolism. Frida Kahlo…show more content…
Two self-portraits that Kahlo has painted that truly show the raw emotion and pain that she was feeling are ‘The Henry Ford Hospital’ and ‘The Broken Colum’. Both of these paintings deal with events in Kahlo’s life that caused her great distress, these stories are told through her use of symbolism weaved throughout the entirety of the paintings. ‘The Henry Ford Hospital’ was painted in 1932 after Kahlo had suffered a miscarriage on July 4th of that year, the miscarriage took place in the Henry Ford Hospital hence the title of this portrait. This painting shows Kahlo laid out on her back in a hospital bed, she is naked and vulnerable and blood is shown to be pooled around her and soaked into the sheets of the bed. This scene is showing her in her exposed and fragile state just after the occurrences of her miscarriage. A large tear is painted and is seen to be falling out of her left eye and down her face, this is highlighting how sad and weak she felt after the loss of her child she so greatly…show more content…
The painting shows Kahlo front on as the main foreground of the painting, she is naked and fully exposed minus the white cloth that drapes across the bottom of the picture. The use of nudity is used as a symbol by Kahlo to represent how vulnerable she was and how raw and real the feelings she was experiencing were. Her figure is painted in front of a barren desert like background with a dark stormy sky above, this desert land represents her inability to have children and the loss of her son during her miscarriage, it also with the stormy sky represents the pain and hardships she had to face by herself, She painted herself in front of this empty background because she feels that this pain is all hers so face, especially after the divorce of her husband who she so dearly loved. One of the first things noticed when looking at Frida’s face in this self-portrait is the signature unibrow that is feature in all of her paintings of herself, this feature contrasts with the womanly features of her naked body thus showing both the feminine and masculine aspects of her appearance and personality. As our eye goes down the painting we notice the metal brace that seems to be holding Kahlo together, this brace was in fact used by Kahlo in her life for 5 months as her health deteriorated but the metal corset can also be seen as a way for Kahlo to express how she was feeling

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