Frida Kahlo and Jon Quick-To-Smith

Throughout the twentieth century and the twenty-first century, the female artist was considered new woman due to the fact they were independent and were able to dress how they wished. Both Frida Kahlo and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith were two artists who embraced their sense of self and cultural heritage depicted throughout their artwork. They used their personal experience to influence the artwork they wanted the viewer to view.

Frida Kahlo used surrealism and modern art to showcase her personal experience through her culture and human rights. Jaune Smith uses modern art as well to demonstrate her personal experience, tribal politics, and human rights into her artwork. Frida Kahlo paintings of What the Water Gave me and Self Portrait on the Border Between Mexico and the United States illustrate both her Mexican culture and her personal experience of pain and suffering. The artwork reflects on her life telling a story to the world on how she sees herself and as for how certain events lead her to that point in life

. Jaune Smith painting of Trade Canoe: Don Quixote Sumeria and The King of the Mountain show both pain and suffering for not just herself but also her people. It demonstrates anger and sadness for what she has been through but as well as what her people have suffered. Giving a voice to her people by showing what mankind has done to them. Frida And Jaune both express pain, suffering, anger, and sadness in their painting by displaying it through their artwork as well as through their culture.

Frida Kahlo was born in Coyoacan, Mexico City. At age eighteen Frida was initially going to enroll as a medical student, but life had other plans. Frida got into an accident that left her crippled for life. While in recovery, Frida focus her time on painting with only having few drawing lessons in her life and painted her friends and self-portraits. Frida was able to express her Mexicanidad which is traditional Mexican clothes. She painted herself in those clothing which the Mexican women of her class did not wear at the time. During that time, Mexico was defining themselves in relation to purely Mexican and not European which helped influence Frida’s artwork. Kahlo’s artwork of What the Water Gave Me shows a wonderful representation of her culture as well as her personal experience. The tone of the artwork is heartfelt and grey with colors blending in with each other making sure that none them overshadow each other. At first glance you see many things happening in the bathtub which each illustration represents some part of her life with pain and suffering.

The water is set as an analogy which compares her life showing death, happiness, comfort, and showing her past and present as stated in the lecture. Next a volcano with a skyscraper being erupted and then you see her parents right in front of the volcano who have always been there to comfort her when she needed them. Then you have Frida tied down by a rope around her neck held by a man who is laying down on the volcano and not letting her go anytime soon. Which can mean that is was her husband who was holding her back from being happy. After so many times of him being unfaithful she was tired of him but still, he still had a hold on her. Then you have a Spanish galleon ship coming from the top left indicating that danger is coming. On the right bottom, you have a lesbian love scene which Kahlo was known to have had lesbian affairs, yet the women seem to be different skin color referring to the mixing of different ethnicities typical of Mexico. Overall you have an artwork that has a lot of violence which highlights the comparison of the violence that has formed throughout Mexican history.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith was born at the Indian Mission on the Flathead Reservation in 1940. Jaune is a Native American modern artist and political activist. Jaune Smith had similar artwork to Frida Kahlo like the Trade Canoe; Don Quixote in Sumeria. At first, you see four panels with a big canoe almost covering the whole canvas. You see colors being dark but also a little bit brighter having the colors complement each other. You see both Kahlo and Smith painting complementing each color having every design be the main focus. Then you see a vast amount of skeletons on the canoe while some of them are laughing and smiling while others show sadness and pain.

In comparison to Frida Kahlo, Jaune Smith showed her pain by showing her self-being tied up and being held back. Sadness for the culture they are losing for the land that they are taking. For the water you have it painted in bright red as well as splashes of dry red in the canoe showing all the deaths that they brought with them due to the illness they brought like smallpox. Indicating that they would shed as much blood was necessary in order to achieve their ultimate goal. If you look closely at the painting, you can see the devil which can mean all the bad things that are happening and that is going to happen in the future. The face looks relaxed almost as if he is smiling for what is going on around him. Couples inches away you have a very small angel looking like he is trying to clean up the mess the devil had made. Trying to fix the wrongs and make it better but the mess is too big to clean up. Demonstrating there is a history of violence in the Native culture just like there is a history of violence in the Mexican culture.

Self Portrait on the Border between Mexico and the United States and The King of the Mountain is another two artworks that are closely similar to representing culture and suffering. Kahlo Self Portrait on the Border between Mexico and the United States shows her standing right down the middles between both countries. The painting shows the sun and the moon being over Mexico as well as showing beautiful flowers growing from the ground with its roots. While you have the United States with industrial buildings and a lot of machines polluting the air. Kahlo is holding a little Mexican flag showing were her loyalty stands and yearning to go back home. To place where her culture is embraced and not look down upon. Where Frida Kahlo can be who she is and wear what she wants without people question her for her choices.

Frida Kahlo color scheme for her painting seems to take a gentler tone of color. With having gloomy colors complementing each other and not having one be more focus than the other. She uses the color scheme in order for the viewers to understand how she sees both countries. The brightest color that stands out is the Mexican flag showing that no matter where she is, Mexico will always be her home and she will always find a way back. Jaune Smith artwork The King of the Mountain follows a similar pattern as Frida Kahlo did with her Self Portrait on the Border between Mexico and the United States. The King of the Mountain shows a vast amount of objects and people in shape of a pyramid. Jaune Smith painted the bottom red to signify all the deaths that happen throughout history and right above where the red is you see the devil again. The devil appears to be smiling or resembling happiness for the destruction that has happened around him. Another item that appears is a white rabbit which is located near the top of the pyramid meaning that it brings good luck in the Native culture. Around the pyramid, you have flags like the United States and British flag surrounding them showing that their culture is slowly disappearing by the intruders.

Frida Kahlo and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith were two artists who embraced their sense of identity and cultural tradition which was depicted throughout their artwork. They used their personal experience to paint influential artwork. Artwork that demonstrating anger and sadness for what they have been through but as well as giving a voice to her people and showing all the suffering they have gone through. Showing the pain and anger that mankind has bestowed on them. Frida And Jaune both express pain, suffering, anger, and sadness in their painting by displaying the type of imagery they create and the type of colors they use to get the viewer to feel a fragment of what they feel. Both Frida Kahlo and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith are two artists that made extraordinary artwork with passion in each brush stroke to capture their passion for telling the truth through their culture and their understanding of life.