The Disturbing Truth: Frida Kahlo's My Dress Hangs There Essays

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The Disturbing Truth:
Frida Kahlo’s My Dress Hangs There

Art is not always pleasant, but neither is society. Art and society have a reflective relationship with one another. During social, religious, and political controversy, artists such as Frida Kahlo incorporated imagery into their portraits of society which are often disturbing to the viewer. The role of an artist often includes acting as a social critic, to show us aspects of our cultural landscape that are unpleasant. In this manner, the art acts as a commentary on the negative aspects of Western civilisation. During the thirties and forties, Kahlo incorporated the hidden realities of economic and social depression into her works.
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist, most often
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A woman dominates the far left side, clad in a luxurious hat and gown, and flirtatiously posed in a portrait. Her presence clearly indicates a distinct line between classes; she represents the members of American society who possess the security to relax during a time of great financial distress in the country.
Directly in the centre of the scene and the immediate focus of a viewer’s attention is Frida’s dress. It hangs on a clothesline between a toilet bowl and a golden trophy which sit atop large classical columns. Her dress is neither part of the lower nor higher class areas of society as represented in her work. The dress, symbolic of her experience during a brief visit to America, hangs in the air.
Although Frida’s criticism of the nation is greatly influenced by her role in the Communist community, she gives a fresh perspective on the downsides of American society and Capitalism. The visual discussion Frida provokes in her work seems to emphasize the idea that they are other potential options for society. Frida may not offer a specific resolution to the depression, but she attempts to open the eyes of her viewers to the injustices and ignorance of American society.

The idea that all art contains interpretive possibilities is expanded upon by the Historical method of Psychoanalysis. One aspect of psychoanalysis, as described by Briony Fer in “Surrealism, Myth and