Tag Archives: surrealism

Masterworks Monday: Frida Kahlo

8 Oct

While Mr. Forager & I are on the road, making our way to California, we’re rerunning Artsy Forager’s most popular posts.  This post originally published on May 2, 2011, when the blog was barely two months old.  Enjoy!

In honor of Cinco De Mayo this week, I thought we’d focus today on the amazing Frida Kahlo.  When I was in painting classes in college, I remember there being this older Bolivian lady who was auditing the classes and she was obsessed with Frida Kahlo.  She was sweet but somewhat obnoxious.  For a long time, the fact that she was so obsessed with Kahlo managed to turn me off on her artwork.  Weird how our minds work sometimes.

But then, somewhere along the line, I let go of this irrational bias and took another look at Kahlo and her work.  And I was quickly won over.  Health problems plagued Kahlo from a young age, suffering first from polio and then being severly injured in a horrific car accident which left her in a full body cast and bedridden for three months.  Though she eventually recovered from her injuries, extreme pain would torment her for the rest of her life.

Two Fridas

Before the accident, Kahlo was studying to become a physician, but she dealt with the boredom of being confined to bed by taking up painting with her father’s watercolors.  And so, Frida Kahlo, the artist was born.

Kahlo’s work often included symbols of Mexican mythology, as well as those of Christian and Jewish faiths.  Though she is perhaps best known for her self-portraits, often depicting events in her own life, such as the accident, subsequent miscarriages, etc.

She married renown Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera in 1929 and their life together was a tumultous one.

Her work has been described as surrealist, but I think it is the unvarnished depiction of her real life pain and struggle that makes her work so interesting and relatable. We may not have all been through the kind of physical pain Kahlo experienced, but perhaps it is that we can all certainly relate to her emotional pain and the need to express it on canvas.

Be sure to check out the official Frida Kahlo website.  A beautifully designed site full of interesting information about the artist.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Ginger Fox

13 Mar

How about a little surrealism for your Tuesday?  Head on over to Escape Into Life, where I’m featuring Dallas artist, Ginger Fox.

Recycling, acrylic on canvas, 24x36

Ginger Fox on Escape Into Life


Fantastically Fanciful Fauna

19 Dec

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a bird-mouse..?  The work of today’s artist captures the whimsy and fantasy that defines this time of year.  French artist Corine Perier creates hybrid creatures that, despite the works’ surrealist quality seem completely real, not to mention irresistibly charming.

Le Trophee de la Chance, oil on wood panel, 46x38cm

Though whimsical in feel, these contemporary portraits remind us of the very real problem of species extinction on our ever changing planet.

Le Petit Prince, oil on wood panel, 27x22cm

Her amalgamated creatures stare out at us with wide, vulnerable eyes.  They appear kind and wise, resembling characters from fantastical lands like Narnia and Middle Earth, here to guide witless humans on their journey.

Renaissance, oil on wood panel

But in the eyes of some, there is an additional element.. perhaps fear, perhaps resignation to their fate at the hands of the very humans they wish to help?

Boule de Neige, oil on wood panel, 65x54cm

Camouflage, oil on wood panel, 27x22cm

To see more of Corine Perier’s gentle enchanters, please visit her website.  A big thank you to Myra Wexler aka YO MOMMA for introducing me to Corine’s work.  Be sure to check out Myra’s blog, too.  It’s full of awesome sauce.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Paper Moon Dreams: Leigh Wells

29 Sep

When I hear the word “collage”, I think back to 2nd grade arts & crafts, safety scissors and Elmer’s Glue.  Of course, my little artsy heart was dreaming of creating beautiful art, not the actual result of magazine cut-outs wrinkled from using way too much glue.  The collage work of Leigh Wells is the stuff my paper moon dreams are made of.

Untitled, collage and mixed media on paper, 9.5x12.75

Simple shapes and soft, earthly colors create striking silhouettes that invite you in to explore their mystery.

Untitled, collage and mixed media on paper, 9.5x12.75

The organic shapes seem to morph in and out of each other, creating forms that are both familiar and alien.

Untitled, collage and mixed media on paper, 9.5x12.75

Part Magritte, part Ernst, part O’Keeffe… All Leigh Wells and all beautifully elegant and engaging.

Untitled, collage and mixed media on paper, 9.5x12.75

To see more of Leigh’s work, please visit her website.  Hmm.. I’m inspired.  Think I just might dust off my scissors and glue.

All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.

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