Kahlo’s paintings align with Surrealist movements because of how she pursued themes that were at times disturbing and bizarre, and unlike others she avoided subject matter that arose from dreams or subconscious state. In this piece of art, she represents where she yearns to be between United States and Mexico. It is acknowledged that Kahlo mostly used herself as the subject matter. Notably, the sun and moon represent Mexico because they can be seen over Mexico and this insinuates that Kahlo was yearning for the agrarian culture of Mexico (Bal and Kahlo 15). The depictions differ because United States is represented by her dressing color which is pink with laced gloves while her nipples can be seen; this blend well with her face that is full of mischief and a cigarette that she is holding. Moreover, Mexico is represented by a small flag she is holding, which clearly defines where her loyalty lies.
This painting represents loyalty subject matter and emanates from Kahlo; she can be seen standing on a boundary stone that distinctly separates the two countries, Mexico and United states. The stone is inscribed Carmen Rivera instead of her real name Frida Kahlo to described what was always Dabbed in her painting to represent her inner self. Significantly, the painting represents what she wants and where she would like to be as distinctly represented by the objects. United States, where she dislikes, is represented by fire-spitting sun and quarter moon. By contrast, a single cloud that is evident in the painting is nothing but a spewing smoke from an industrial chimney. The cloud also overshadows the American flag, whose stars are tarnished compared to conspicuous and dazzling Mexican sun and real moon. Consequently, the Mexican side is represented by a temple figure while on the United States side bleak skyscrapers are visible. Moreover, it can be observed from the painting that Mexico is occupied by a pile of fertile idols while United States has a factory with chimneys that produce smoke that ultimately contaminate the environment (Souter 38). In this self-portrait, Kahlo is motionless like a statue, she is simply pretending because the face ironically communicates where she would like to be, that is in Mexico. She is simply insinuating that Mexico is better that United States and yearns to stay and live in the former.
In this artwork, Kahlo used surrealism style of composing art; she has in addition used her own style of surrealistic elements to paint this reality. According to her, this style of painting made it easy to honestly express her inner self while taking care of prejudices of audience. Elements of surrealism in this painting include the chimney spewing smoke to the atmosphere to signify industrial development in United States at the time. In addition, calm clouds above Mexico depict calmness of the environment devoid of disturbance and industrial revolution. Indigenous elements include sun, moon, fertility temples and chimney that blend well with the work.
This painting is considered a valuable art considering the features that have been used to describe both United States and Mexico. For instance, the sun is spewing flames typical of an environment affected by climate change due to emission of smoke. Most of Kahlo’s paintings concentrated and dealt with questions of national identity. Despite facing personal problems that arose from traumatic physical and psychological occurrences including infidelity of her husband, she never shied from pursuing national identity subject matter. This was supported by her mixed ancestral background from Mexico and Germany.
Bal, Mieke, and Frida Kahlo. Frida Kahlo. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2013. Print.
Souter, Gerry. Frida Kahlo. New York: Parkstone International, 2011. Internet resource.