Historical Analysis featuring Freda Kahlo and Mark Ryden

Both of these people have different art styles and participate in different Art Movements. I will be discussing each of these artist historical past such as the art movements and art styles they used throughout the years and what inspired them.

Starting of with Frida Kahlo, a very well known artist around the world. She was born on July sixth of the year nineteen-o-seven in Coyoacan, Mexico. She lived in a house that was referred ‘La Casa Azul” which means “The Blue House”, and she lived with her mother, father, two older sisters, and her younger sister. Her father Guillermo was a German descendant and he was a photographer. He actually immigrated to Mexico City and that is where he met Frida’s mother Matilde and had for daughters named Cristina, Adriana, Matilde, and Frida herself. It was also said that Frida’s father had other children with another of his ex wifes.

Moving to Frida Kahlo’s health state; When Frida was young she had contracted Polio and had to stay home in her bed for at least nine months. Due to the decease (Polio) she had also developed a much more thinner leg and foot than the other; the leg that grew thin was her right. All of this resulted her to dress the way she dressed. She was insecure about her leg and would so wear long skirts to cover it up. Her father on the other hand would always encourage her to play sports to help her recover; she played soccer, did swimming, and wrestling. Moving on a little more forward into her life; Kahlo as well suffered a tragic accident that was very life threatening. She was rushed into the hospital and doctors described it as if they were trying to fix a puzzle. This caused her to stay in bed almost for a whole year and left her in pain both physically and mentally. Aside from this she was also not able to have any babies due to how a steel handrail went right through her pelvic. Ever since this accident she started to paint; mostly self portraits or family because “she knew herself best” were her words. Frida was inspired by the original Mexican culture; that means bright colours and a whole lot of dramatic symbolism such as the monkey which means lust, but to her they meant tenderness and protection.

According to a documentary I watched in my General Drawing class about Frida Kahlo. Ever since she had that horrible accident, she was inspired to paint many portraits of herself because she knew herself best and painting herself made her feel better. Her painting represented her life and how she felt. An example would be the portrait of her on the floating bed and the other objects floating above her. That represented the times she had miscarriages and how much that affected her. She was also with Diego Rivera; they were both in multiple art movements such as cubism, surrealism, magical realism, social realism, and modern art as well. I consider her being more in the Surrealism and Magical Surrealism Art Movements because knowing her story and the reason why she started painting is very real. All her painting are based on her real feelings and her real life events, but added a lot of symbolism as well such as the monkeys. Eventually, Frida Kahlo ended up dying of Pulmonary Embolism.

Mark Ryden is a bit more in the Pop Culture Art. He was born on the twentieth of January of the year nineteen-sixty-three. Ryden is well known for his Pop Cultural Art and him being part of the Lowbrow Art Movement. Though many artist have had dark or just an unnatural past; Ryden’s past isn’t really spoken about and the parts he has spoken about were normal. He slowly brought himself up by participating and making things. Ryden was born in Medform, Oregon, but he was actually raised in Southern California. Before becoming a big artist he was actually a commercial artist by designing album covers for other people. There is not much history known about Ryden, but something I do know is that his father was a painter as well and fixed automobiles; he as well had two brothers and two sisters.

Mark Ryden was is known for being in the Lowbrow Art Movement and what that means is that it’s an underground visual art movement. The movement started in Los Angeles, California and of course Ryden was raised in California so we couldn’t expect less. The movement is all inspired by “punk music, tiki culture, and hot rod cultures of the street”. It is influenced by Pop Art and Surrealism. Lowbrow Art work always has a drop of darkness in it. When Ryden was working in creating albums, His art was “taken up” by Robert Williams who was in the “Zap Comix Collective” so Williams ended up putting up his ‘art’ in front of the Juxtapoz Magazine. When people saw it; it was described as the “Lowbrow Movement” and that’s how Rydent became part of it.

Mark Ryden his BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His Art work began to get noticed more and more; according to my research his art gained more recognition because Ryden decided to only focus on “subject matter that was rich with cultural connotation. His art eventually started to get featured in galleries and museums. He has so many different titles of the art he has done; he also has a great amount of art books being sold in stores and online. I will be adding some of my favorite pieces at the end.

Ryden’s art seems to always have soft colours such as baby pinks, blues, and neutrals. Though the artwork themselves are very dark and sometimes even give a disturbance feeling to the audience. Ryden also seems to paint only children in his art, but mostly girls with doe-eyes; his obsession with painting children and these young girls has to do with the meaning of his paintings or theme which is something close to the childhood innocence.

Frida Kahlo had a hard past and had to go through many physical and mental and pain throughout her entire life. She got married with an artist named Diego Rivera and because of him she stated that she was able to show her art. Mark Ryden on the other hand had his struggles, but weren’t as bad as Kahlo’s. There isn’t much history about Ryden’s childhood, but his art has a lot of children in it and symbolism showing loss of innocence and melancholy tones to it. Kahlo’s self portraits had a melancholy feeling to them as well. She looked upset and exhausted. Both these artist have completely different past, but what they do have in comment are their art movements. They both do surrealism; but they use it in different art styles. Both their art has a melancholy and dark feeling to it; they make the audience wonder. Good past or bad part we’re all humans just like Kahlo and Ryden are magnificent artists.