Suscríbete al boletín semanal

Suscríbete para recibir cada semana el boletín SINC con los contenidos más relevantes y no te pierdas nada de la actualidad científica.

Suscríbete al boletín semanal
If you are registered

You will not be able to connect if you exceed ten failed attempts.

If you are not yet registered

The SINC Agency offers different services depending on your profile.

Select yours:

Journalists Institutions
If you are registered

You will not be able to connect if you exceed ten failed attempts.

If you are not yet registered

The SINC Agency offers different services depending on your profile.

Select yours:

Journalists Institutions

Research Makes First-Time Study of Frida Kahlo Portrait Photos

The characteristics of the nearly 800 photographs of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo taken over a period of more than 40 years are analyzed in their entirety and for the first time in a study carried out by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).

Fotografía incluida en el libro Frida Kahlo. Sus Fotos

Un estudio de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) analiza por primera vez, en su conjunto, las características de las casi 800 fotografías que retratan a la artista mexicana Frida Kahlo a lo largo de más de 40 años.

The research analyzes the photographic images of Frida Kahlo, images which have never been studied as a whole. “Even though the artist is a very important figure in the Mexican mindset, until now there has been no study of these characteristics about the photos she appears in,” said UC3M professor Nieves Limón, who wrote her doctoral thesis about this subject almost 60 years after the artist’s death on July 13th, 1954.

Frida Kahlo was closely tied to photography. Through posing, the Mexican artist constructed a mindset in which one recognizes many of the aesthetic elements characteristic of her work. After all, for Kahlo, photography would be an evocative tool for producing images. “The construction and use of her own image as raw material for her work is one of the fundamental principles of the Mexican’s work,” notes Nieves Limón, who divulged some results of her research in an article published in the journal Área Abierta.

Specifically, Nieves Limón, from the UC3M Department of Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, focused her study on a collection of images in which Frida Kahlo appears as a model. The frequency with which she posed for different photographers has resulted in a large number of very important photographs for the more than 36 professionals that took them, but they are especially significant for the history of Kahlo’s artistic production: nearly 800 over more than 40 years. To carry out her work, the researcher collaborated with and had access to the collections of the Frida Kahlo Museum and the National Photography Library of Mexico.

Although she did not take the photographs, Kahlo conceived and planned them. This work of characterizing the artist, which in some cases the UC3M researcher defines as “visual autobiographies,” articulates its own creative discourse which emphasizes the subversion of gender codes through the creative technique of “androgynous estrangement” or reflection on her national identity, the exaltation of popular culture, rural life, and a certain pre-Hispanic syncretism.

“The use of her own image as raw material for her work is one of the fundamental principles of the Mexican’s work,” says the author

Photography or Performance

In pondering her artistic identity, Frida Kahlo presents a key point about artistic production in general: she interprets her profession for the camera in an evidently artificial way, as a “disguised author.” Thus, as professor Limón notes, it poses a question of topicality in the world of contemporary art: Who is the author of the photograph, the one who presses the button on the camera or the one who poses in the image?

The photographs of Kahlo hold a certain performative status. The artist uses her body as a device which allows her to represent herself in different ways, and as a discursive tool for denaturing certain conventions. “In her work, one can appreciate a characteristic rituality of the current performance: the redundancy of her practices, the restaging of her poses, which denatures the everyday action, and the production of a corps of images elevated to a work of art,” said Nieves Limón.

Moreover, the artist from Coyoacán stands as “an important and innovative figure who challenges the fundamental theoretical suppositions of autobiographical practices,” occasionally showing her vulnerable corporality. She does so through a strong process-based component in the photography: serial, with narrative potential, multiple quality (collage) and with connections to other compositions. All in all, the photographs of Frida speak to us of her vital experiences: her pain, her relationships and her roles, and it is a privileged medium through which to learn about the human being that was the artist.

Reference:

Nieves Limón. “Frida Kahlo y el posado fotográfico”. Área Abierta nº28. Referencia: AA28.1103.141

Source: UC3M
Copyright: Creative Commons

For media only:

If you are a journalist and would like to contact the researchers, please register as a journalist in SINC.

Related articles
BOOKS
Science without fiction: a collective experiment between literature and journalism
Pablo Francescutti

Writing on scientific subjects in the Spanish press is limited to unvarying basics: news, reports and interviews. The book format, on the other hand, is monopolized by the popular monographs. Hence the originality of the volume coordinated by Jesús Méndez with a precise objective: the promotion of novel ways of writing on subjects such as the CRISPR technique, space travel, pseudosciences, quantum computing and the ethical dilemmas of artificial intelligence.

Why it is important for the press to talk about palliative care
SINC

In Spain, less than 50% of people who could receive end-of-life care have access to it. Research shows that giving health professionals, patients and families a voice in the media can help integrate these therapies into health care. However, it is politicians who are most present in media coverage