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If You Claim To Be A Frida Kahlo Fan Then You Better Be Informed About These 20 Paintings By Her

Throughout her life’s work, Frida Kahlo created paintings that depicted her life, culture, Mexicanidad, indigeneity, grief, and suffering. The serious subject matter of her work has long been lauded by art critics and fans of her work alike.

Here’s a look at Kahlo’s 20 most popular portraits.

1. The Two Fridas

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This oil painting which was part of Kahlo’s Naïve art period depicts two versions of Kahlo sitting side by side together. One wears a white European-style Victorian dress while the other is wearing a traditional Tehuana dress. Some suggest that the two figures are a representation of Frida’s dual heritage.

2. The Broken Column

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This oil painting made in 1944 was created by Kahlo shortly after she had spinal surgery to correct chronic problems from a serious traffic accident. In this painting, Frida aligns herself with the martyr Saint Sebastian who was discovered to be a Christian and tied to a tree and used as an archery target.

3. The Wounded Deer

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This painting created around the end of Kahlo’s life was made when her health was on a downward spiral. In this oil painting, Kahlo combines pre-Columbian, Buddhist, and Christian symbols to express her influences and beliefs.

4. Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

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Kahlo created this self-portrait after her divorce from Diego Rivera and the end of her affair with photographer Nickolas Muray. The painting brings into coordination Frida’s identification with indigenous Mexican culture which greatly affected her painting aesthetic. Kahlo’s use of powerful iconography from her indigenous Mexican roots asserts hers sense of rebellion against colonial forces and male rule.

In this photo, the dead hummingbird around her neck represents a good luck charm. The black panther in the background is a symbol of bad luck and death and the monkey is meant to represent evil.

5. Without Hope

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On the back of this painting which was created by Kahlo in 1954, Kahlo wrote  “Not the least hope remains to me…Everything move in time with what the belly contains.” She created this painting after her father prescribed her to be force fed.

6. Diego and I

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In this painting, Frida reveals the anguish she feels about her relationship with Diego Rivera. The portrait reveals her deep pain and hurt over his infidelity and affair with film actress Maria Felix.

7. Self-Portrait with Monkey

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In Mexican mythology, monkeys are a symbol of lust. In this portrait, however, the monkeys are adoring, loving and nurturing. Kahlo’s decision to depict monkeys is consistent with her constant incorporation of them as companions. In life, Frida kept monkeys as well as many other pets in the garden of her Blue House in Mexico.

8. Self-Portrait as a Tehuana

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This painting which was painted in 1940 was made after she and Diego divorced. The painting has two other names “Diego in My Thoughts” and “Thinking of Diego.” This painting reveals Frida’s consumption with  Diego Rivera, who continued to have affairs with other women throughout their relationship.

Even despite his betrayals, she could not stop thinking about him and portrayed this by painting a small portrait of him on her brow which depicts her obsessive love for him.

9. Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair

Kahlo painted this self-portrait during a particularly difficult time in her life. Frida’s husband Diego Rivera had long told Frida of how much she admired her long, dark hair, which, are depicted in the tresses on the floor of the painting. After they broke up she cut off her hair. In this picture, she shows herself sitting in an oversized suit that resembles the ones that Rivera often wore.

10. What the Water Gave Me

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What the Water Gave Me (Lo que el agua me dio in Spanish) the artist creates her own biography.  As the scholar, Natascha Steed, points out, “her paintings were all very honest and she never portrayed herself as being more or less beautiful than she actually was.”

11. The Suicide of Dorothy Hale

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Dorothy Hale is an American act and Ziegfeld showgirl who died by suicide in 1938. Kahlo was commissioned to create a portrait of the actress by a friend and to their surprise, she created a severe retelling of her ultimate death.

12. Henry Ford Hospital (The Flying Bed)

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Frida depicts herself in this painting lying in a bed in Henry Ford Hospital naked and bleeding. The painting depicts the discomfort Frida felt during her time in the hospital. In the painting, six objects fly around her. There’s a male fetus which is the son of her and Diego that she lost. There is an orchid which looks like a uterus. The snail is the symbol of how slow the miscarriage and operation took.

13. The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Myself, Diego, and Señor Xolotl

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This portrait comes folded with multiple forms of imagery. In this portrait, Frida shows “twofold face of the Universe, the light and dark background of planets and ethereal fog, is holding a murkier Earth (Mexico), whose breasts are lactating. The Earth (Mexico), with all her vegetation, is subsequently holding Frida Kahlo. Continuing further, Frida is then holding a nude Diego Rivera, whose forehead contains a third eye.

This work is rich in symbolism, with multiple layers of meaning. However, the symbols are not unlike many of Kahlo’s other works. Many art critics have contended that The Love Embrace portrays several of Frida’s life struggles, including but not limited to: womanhood, motherhood and Diego Rivera.”

14. My Grandparents, My Parents and Me

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Frida Kahlo depicts her family in this portrait of a family tree. In this piece, she is a naked girl holding onto a red ribbon that represents of her bloodline.

15. A Few Small Nips (Passionately in Love)

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In 1935, a year after not painting, she created A Few Small Nips, in which she portrays the torture she feels over her pain. In the painting, a bare and bloodied Frida lies on a bed in the face of a knife-wielding killer.

16. Viva la Vida, Watermelons

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Eight days before her death, Frida wrote the words “Viva la Vida – Coyoacán 1954 Mexico” into her drawing of the watermelons.

17. The Wounded Table

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Like many of Frida’s paintings this piece reflects strongly on her Mexicanidad, indigeneity, as well as her grief and loss. The painting is depicted much like Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last SupperMural.  Kahlo is seated at the center of the table and figures that were portrayed in her painting The Four Inhabitants of Mexico City also appear.

18. My Dress Hangs There

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Frida started this painting while living in New York and finished it soon after she and Diego moved back to Mexico. On the back of the  painting in chalk she wrote “I painted this in New York when Diego was painting the mural in Rockefeller Center”.

“The painting is filled with the icons of modern industrial society of United States but implied the society is decaying and the fundamental human values are destructed. In contrast to this painting, her husband Diego Rivera was working on a mural in the Rockefeller Center to prove his approval of the industrial progress in America”

19. Self-portrait in a Velvet Dress

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In this self-portrait, Frida wears a wine-red velvet dress. The painting is one of the most flattering portraits of Kahlo and was created during the start of her career as an artist. In letters, she wrote, about the portrait. “You cannot imagine how marvelous it is to wait for you, serenely as in the portrait.”

20. Girl with Death Mask (She Plays Alone)

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In 1938 Frida painted this portrait which depicts  Frida herself at age of four as she wearsa skull mask. This mask is a tradition for “Day of the Dead” wear and where death is celebrated instead of mourned. The little is depicts Frida holding a yellow flower in her hands which Mexicans put on graves at the “Day of the Dead” festival.


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This Houston Artist is Bringing a Touch of Whimsy to Her Hometown

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This Houston Artist is Bringing a Touch of Whimsy to Her Hometown

Art is often the manifestation of our emotions. It manifests the artist’s intentions and projects them onto the audience. Though we don’t all experience art in the same way, the visceral reaction we have to an especially moving work of art is universal. Through the lens of its artist, art makes us hope, feel as well as heal. For Texas-based Mexican-American artist Shelbi Nicole, the desire to share these feelings with her audience is what drives her to create.

Named one of Houston’s Top Ten artists back in 2014, Nicole is a Texas transplant originally from Oklahoma City. Using bold color and shapes, it’s her goal to put feel-good vibes out into her community. Working in a mix of media but a painter at heart, Nicole’s work can be seen all over her adopted home. Whether it’s through murals, in private and public art collections or through her newest interactive art installation, this artist is committed to drama and whimsy.

Recently, FIERCE caught up with Nicole to talk about the intention behind her lively art and see her latest installation.

For Shelbi Nicole, art was an instinctive passion to pursue even from an early age.

Instagram / @fiftyshadesofelishagray

In fact, the medium of painting became a therapeutic tool that helped the artist evolve into the woman she is.

“I have enjoyed creating since I was very young, which was when I discovered my love for painting,” Nicole told FIERCE. “I suffered from depression and found the benefits of painting to be extremely therapeutic. Painting has tremendously helped me combat depression and in a lot of ways been essential to my well being. Once I discovered the impact painting had on my life, I wanted to identify first and foremost as an artist.”

Drawn to abstract forms, Nicole traveled to France at 18 to study her craft. Exploring the numerous art museums Europe has to offer, she grew into herself as an artist. Her search to find her own voice as an artist took her to Miami. There, the vibrant colors of the South Florida Latinidad inspired her and made their way into her permanent color palette. Having found her signature style utilizing abstract shapes and vibrant colors, Nicole made her way to the University of Houston for her formal education.

“I think my constant exposure to so many different cultures has influenced my work,” Nicole explained. “Especially being back in Houston, the most diverse city in the U.S.”

Since then, Nicole has been a cornerstone of the local Houston art scene, literally leaving her mark all over the city.

Instagram / @shelbinicoledesigns

Putting her skills as a mural artist to the test, Nicole beautifies the Houston Metro through her work with Mini Murals. Mini Murals is a multi-city project aimed at bringing color to unsuspected places utilizing electrical boxes as mural space. The pop of unexpected art that these pieces bring to local neighborhoods is completely on message for this dynamic artist. With her mix of abstract and geometric shapes and bold use of color, Nicole has contributed a dozen mini murals to Houston.

Aside from her many projects with her own design firm, Nicole has collaborated with everyone from local artists to big name corporations.

Instagram / @shelbinicole
Houston Press / Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

“The last two years of my life have been some of my most successful, thus far, with my art endeavors,” Nicole proudly shared. Last December, the artist teamed up with jewelry designer Kendra Scott to create the “Korridor.” Next to the Kendra Scott jewelry store in the posh community of Rice Village, the bright mural space is a combination of Nicole’s colorful sensibilities and Scott’s elegant forms.

Another such collaboration matched Nicole with the largest rodeo in the world. The tremendous Texas event — once headlined by Selena herself — is also an opprotunity to take in arts and culture. This year, the artist won the opprotunity to paint in her own style a 6-foot tall ceramic boot for the Rodeo’s Boot Row. Nicole is only one of six artists chosen to execute a design for this piece that lines the Rodeo’s entrance.

Still, perhaps one of Nicole’s biggest collabs have been with coffee giant Café Bustelo.

Instagram / @shelbinicole

The Cuban coffee company established these pop-ups around the country for some time now. Not only do they bring their bold flavors, the pop-ups also invites emerging Latinx musicians and artists. For Nicole’s project, the people behind the iconic yellow can connected her with fellow Houston artist Gonzo247. At a Café Bustelo pop-up event in Houston’s art district, the two artists worked together to create a unique art piece to embody Latin flavor and culture.

While these accomplishments are impressive in their own right, the project that Nicole is most proud of has been five years in the making.

Instagram / @shelbinicole
Instagram / @thewhimsyworld_

A larger-than-life visual funhouse, Nicole’s newest exhibit — Whimsy World — is a colorful, interactive fantasy world. The exhibit debuted in Houston during February of 2019. It opened to rave reviews as Houstonians explored Shelbi’s brilliant dreamscape.

“What inspired me to create Whimsy World was an intense desire to showcase my work in a solo show that was unconventional and much more interactive,” Nicole explained. “I’d lost interest in traditional art shows and the lack of color in most gallery settings. I wanted people to be able to feel like they’re inside of one of my paintings rather than just standing back and looking at a canvas.”

The multi-experience installation spans several rooms, each with its own touches of magic. From a hand-welded claw foot tub and in-door rain cloud dripping with hundreds of crystals to the abstract paintings spilling over the canvas and onto the studio walls, every inch is art. Even the bathrooms — with their fierce boss lady Beyoncé motif — are a spot worthy of Instagram.

For Nicole, Whimsy World is a culmination of her artistic voice and the joy she hopes her art creates in others.

Instagram / @thewhimsyworld_
Instagram / @whimsyworld_

“I want to encourage everyone to understand the endless possibilities there are, when it comes to how we experience art,” the artist confessed. “It can be a feeling, a moment, a world that you enter that brings joy and elicits feel-good vibes. That is the intention of The Whimsy World and I hope everyone can experience its magic.”

For Nicole, the future is as bright as the art she creates. An extended version of Whimsy World will be debuting in Sugarland, Texas March 15th-April 27th. The installation will include 8+ brand new fixtures. The Sugarland show will also feature a new main attraction — a mirrored art room hand-crafted by the artist. Nicole is also planning to take Whimsy World to audiences beyond Texas.

Shelbi Nicole’s dedication to sharing her positivity and light with the world is evident whenever you see her art. It’s a reminder that through artistic creation, we can share who we are and what we want the world to be.


Read: It’s The Beginning Of The Year And Cardi B and Selena Gomez Have Already Topped Spotify’s Most-Streamed Female Artists

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These Fantastical Book Illustrations By Latinas Are Worthy Of ‘Twilight’ And ‘Harry Potter’ Covers

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These Fantastical Book Illustrations By Latinas Are Worthy Of ‘Twilight’ And ‘Harry Potter’ Covers

Social media has made it even easier for creators to share their art, ideas and techniques with each other and with art fans. Places like Instagram and Twitter are especially great platforms that help get unknown artists seen for the very first time. It is with that in mind that the #VisibleWomen hashtag was started.

Created back in 2016, #VisibleWomen was started by artist Kelly Sue DeConnick. The motivation behind the hashtag started because of the common narrative in the comic industry that there are no female artists. By using the hashtag, Twitter users are declaring that not only are there tons of women artists, but they are just as capable as their male counterparts.

Since it’s inception, #VisibleWomen has regularly trended and provided much deserved exposure to these artistas. The campaign has broadened to include artists of all kinds and from all over the world. There’s no denying the talent of these mujeres — especially the ones hailing from the Latinidad.

Here are 20 very talented Latina artists you’ve just got to check out.

1. Gloria Felix @GloriaFelixArt

Twitter / @Gloriafelixart

A LA-based Mexicana, Gloria Felix is an illustrator and visual development artist. Specializing in character development and environmental rendering, she is a freelancer and background artist at Darker Co. Studios. Felix’s work is embodied by the genuine and expressive characters captured in her slice-of-life illustrations.

2. Geraldine Rodriguez @GeryRdz

Twitter @Geryrdz

If the fantasy of fairy tales is your thing, the artwork of illustrator and digital artist Geraldine Rodriguez is just your speed. The Mexican artist specializes in Children’s Literature illustrations. Represented by Bright Agency, Rodriguez’s art is recognizable through her use of light and the whimsy of her subject matter.

3. Amanda Corona @sanagie

Twitter / @sanagie

With a subject matter and style that draws from pop culture, Mexican artist Amanda Corona brings her flare to freelance illustration. Definitely not afraid of color, her use of bright, complementary tones make her creations pop. Whether enjoying her original creations or her take on your favorite characters, Corona delivers a dynamic piece.

4. Vanessa Morales @phonemova

Twitter / @phonemova

Specializing in strong women and fantastic creatures, Vanessa Morales is a Mexican artist and illustrator. She works in Children’s Literature but also makes comic covers and games. Sporting lots of bright, complimentary color, Morales’ work focuses on fantasy, nature, and her Mexican culture. Be sure to check out her Mayan-inspired take on Sailor Moon.

5. Sofia Davila @sofa_sofiaa

Twitter / @sofa_sofiaa

Puerto Rican sequential artist Sofia Davila specializes in soft colors and highly stylized characters. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, she creates comics. Check out her comic “Retale” for a peek at her imaginative world and gorgeous characters.

6. @Monarobot

Twitter / @monarobot

Inspired by Mayan mythology and culture, Mexican artist Monarobot brings this aesthetic to all of her art. Located in Chiapas, she often takes recognizable characters from pop culture and gives them a Mayan upgrade. Monarobot also creates original takes on Mayan monsters — all in a style and color palette that will remind you of the lost empire.

7. Fanny Rodriguez @charratastic

Twitter / @charratastic

Mexican illustrator, designer, and writer Fanny Rodriguez mixes fantasy and fairy tale with unique style and bright colors. She currently produces her webcomic “Malicious Magic” but is soon to be published in print. Her graphic novel — “Fantastic Tales of Nothing” — is set to debut in 2020.

8. Alejandra Elena Gámez @themountainwith

Twitter / @themountainwith

Mexican comic artist and illustrator Alejandra Gámez excels at building worlds that are beautifully mythical as well as charmingly strange. She is the author and illustrator behind popular comic “The Mountain With Teeth.” In 2018, she published her first illustrated book — “Más allá de las ciudades” — which portrays an eerie, dream-like take on the world. Gámez is now working on her next book releases.

9. Nicole Janér @njjaner

Twitter / @njjaner

Brazilian illustrator and character designer Nicole Janér is a born story teller. With her cool-toned color palette, her creations portray her appreciation of mysteries and the mystical. It’s hard to tell what we love more: her uniquely stylized character designs or the fanart she creates of our favorite figures.

10. Amber Vucinich @mbrleigh

Twitter / @mbrleigh

It’s easy to recognize a piece created by Chilean-American artist Amber Vucinich. It’s got to have pink, it’s going to be bubbly and there’s a good chance you’ll recognize her subject matter. A storyboard revisionist on Disney’s animated series “Rapunzel’s Tangeled Adventure,” Vucinich has turned her love of fanart into a fulfilling career.

11. Hannah Cardosa @hannahcardosa

Twitter / @hannahcardosa

Freelance illustrator Hannah Cardosa creates her art from her home in Rio Janeiro, Brazil. Working in a limited color palette, Her depictions of the female form are anything but simple. The precise color choices and graceful arrangements found in her work are especially evident in her Mermaid series.

12. Mariana Avila @marinaavilal

Twitter @marianaavilal

Whether it’s Marvel, Star Wars, or Disney, Mexican artist Mariana Avila can create it. The freelance character artist and illustrator creates doe-eyed renditions of some of our favorite pop culture figures. Her seamless pattern works also show a talent that would be at home in Children’s Literature.

14. Karla Díaz @karladiazcomic

Twitter / @karladiazcomic

Chilean comic artist and illustrator Karla Díaz uses her adorably stylized characters to tell the stories of her comic worlds. The creator of comics “Non-Non,” “Coffee Shop” and “Cute Sins,” her work ranges from the cute to the Not Safe For Work. Diáz’s style and work is influenced heavily by Japanese manga and anime.

15. Juliana Motzko @julianamotzko

Twitter / @julianamotzko

Brazil’s Juliana Motzko makes work that she hope’s touches people’s hearts. Represented by the Bright Agency, the illustrator creates whimsical pieces that would be at home in a child’s picture book. If you check out her feed on social media, you’ll notice that Motzko has a soft spot for depicting animals — especially penguins.

16. Monique Alencar @pijamallama

Twitter / @pijamallama

Located in Brazil, Monique Alencar is a talented 2D artist with a knack for dynamic character designs. Specializing in comic covers and concept art, she uses a bright palette and various styles in her illustrations. While she’s very talented at depicting the human form, her illustrations of cats and dogs are what really caught our eye.

17. Karla Alcazar @ohhaikarla

Twitter / @ohhaikarla

Mexican illustrator Karla Alcazar uses a muted color palette, distinct style and delicate figure drawings to tell her stories. Dedicated to drawing girls and plant life, she is interested in editorial work and illustrating for Children’s Literature. Her sweet-faced figures might seem simple at first glance but detail is worked into every inch of her pieces.

18. Isadora Zeferino @imzeferino

Twitter / @imzeferino

With vibrant colors and her charming style, Brazil’s Isadora Zeferino creates worlds full of vivid magic. The freelance artist specializes in comic book covers, graphic novels, and editorial work. Though her Instagram feed is a thing of beauty, her art book is page after page of loveliness you’ll want to get your hands on.

19. Brenda Failache @BreFailache

Twitter / @BreFailche

Brazilian illustrator and 2D game artist Brenda Failache excels both in uncanny fanart and her own personal creations. A freelance illustrator, she loves to illustrate girls, game characters and all things Brazil. Failache also works creating images for educational games and book covers.

20. Victoria Maderna @vmaderna

Twitter / @vmaderna

Argentina’s Victoria Maderna is an illustrator and painter. Often working in gouache, she enjoys painting animals — both real and imaginary. Besides her cute and furry renditions, Maderna also creates comics dealing with the supernatural.


Read:Yalitza Aparicio Brought Her Mother To The Oscars And Other Incredible Things Latinas Did Last Night

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