Self portrait can be hard if you don’t believe that you are fully in control of yourself. Kahlo is such an astounding woman who could strike your nerve with her various self-portraits as well as some of her portraits for other people.
Frida Kahlo’s childhood couldn’t be defined as words like “blessful” or “peaceful”. Though she had a great father who taught her how to paint and photograph, and took her to many places to enlarge her vision, the early breast-feeding from a nurse and the bus accident happened on 1925 still left major traumas in her life. It was the turning point that forced her in bed and led her think about what she still can do. And she started painting.
The reason why her paintings are so obsessive is that they reflect her moods and stakes. Most of her paintings are self-portraits, and from these self-portraits you see the inner world of this woman. These should be the derivations from her early experience in childhood being isolated from mother-feeding and the near-death thinking after the bus accident, which leave her in a sealed chamber and enable her to think individually about death (to Freud’s theory). The driven force to death makes her more sensitive to self, and then combining her painting skill she’s capable of turning her moods and thoughts to vivid and striking images.
One of the portrait that strikes me is Self-Portrait on the Borderline between Mexico and the United States, 1932. In this self-portrait she stood on the borderline, holding an Mexico flag and facing toward her motherland Mexico. While behind her are the industries and “Ford” symbol that raises as an America flag. The difference between ancient and natural life and technology-dominated living style is the main conflict in the painting, and her orientation towards her motherland reflects her nostalgia and the loneliness in an “iron country”. Further expression was conveyed in her other painting My Dress Hangs There, 1933.