Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

When looking at these two images it is easy to deduce that the first image was painted by Diego Rivera and the second by Frida Kahlo. The way they depict women is so different even though they were a couple.
The first image by Rivera is very much looked at with the "male gaze" and is very sexual, with the focus on the womans figure rather than the face, with the curve of the flowers following the curve of her body. The woman comes across as there to be looked at. This is not seen in Kahlo's work where in her self portrait, it lacks the sexualization that Diegos holds. Especialy with the way she has painted her eyebrows, which are, as a monobrow, significantly un-sexual. This brings to focus the way in which women are expected to groom and make themselves beautiful unlike men. Diegos representation of a woman is very much the "ideal" woman where as Kahlo creates a real depiction of a woman. Diegos painting depicts the steriotypical ideal woman, perfectly groomed, flawless skin, blonde hair, perfect figure. Along with the male gaze of this providing ownership over the woman she becomes the "perfect object" and an ideal rather than a reality and becomes something to be looked at. Kahlo's depiction of herself challeges the notion of the male gaze and the authority it holds, by painting herself she gives more of the impression that she is looking at the veiwer through the focus being on her face not her body.

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