Visual arts


Emotional agonies are portion of worlds ‘ life. Peoples are overwhelmed by them taking to despair or even to the moving out of these emotions in a destructive manner. Finding a manner to get by with these emotions is of import. This could be done by assorted agencies playing music, making athleticss and particularly by making art.

I choose the research inquiry: “ How make Frida Kahlo and Niki de Saint Phalle header with their emotional agonies by making art? ” because of two grounds. First of all, I researched creative persons who dealt with their emotions artistically. I became particularly interested in Frida Kahlo an creative person of Mexican beginning as I am partially Mexican and therefore can link to her. Niki de Saint Phalle has been well-known to me as I have been in France for one twelvemonth and heard about her celebrated shooting pictures. Second, I started to develop pictures ensuing from emotional agonies myself and became interested in the connexion of emotions and their artistic look.

Once I went to a vernissage organized by the “ Malwerkstatt ” of the “ Asklepios Klinik in G & A ; ouml ; ttingen ” . There I saw some pictures done by mentally hurt adult females who paint on a regular basis. In the undermentioned hebdomads I spent some clip in the “ Malwerkstatt ” questioning them about their procedure of making art, related feelings and ensuing pictures. I became interested in their manner of seeing art as a transmutation of negative feelings into a piece of art. Making art has a positive impact on their wellbeing. However, they can non to the full transform their agonies into an expressive piece of art.

Frida Kahlo, Niki de Saint Phalle and the interviewed mentally wounded adult females realized the possibility of making art as a constructive manner to show their emotional agonies. Frida Kahlo and Niki de Saint Phalle header with their emotional agonies to the last extent ; traveling on phase non concealing any more but extricate themselves from outlooks. The ensuing creative activity can be seen as a mirror reflecting their inner-self which might be flooring and disapproving. The bravery to make is one of the basic rules to get down with. In order to get by with the agonies to the full the measure these great creative persons did is indispensable. Fring yourself non believing about appraisal any longer giving your agonies an artistic voice will finally be constructive and certainly better your emotional province.

The focal point will be on the analysis and reading of the selected graphicss in relation to the emotional agonies expressed through it. Additionally, the transmutation into a piece of art will be pointed out. Frida Kahlo?s look through pictures, particularly self-portraits ; stand in contrast to the 3-dimensional graphics and hiting pictures done by Niki de Saint Phalle. One painting done by a mentally hurt adult female will be taken into history for the analysis. Taking into consideration these two creative persons I aim to demo their different artistic looks, the creative activity of advanced, unconventional and redolent art.

Frida Kahlo

“ Frida is the lone illustration in the history of art of an creative person who tore unfastened her thorax and bosom to uncover the biological truth of her feelings. The lone adult female who has expressed in her plants an art of the feelings, maps, and originative power of adult females ” said her hubby Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.

Frida Kahlo, an creative person of Mexican-German beginning, was born in Mexico in 1907.In her life she suffered from physical and emotional hurting chiefly due to a serious coach accident at the age of 18 that “ left her with womb-to-tomb incapacitating unwellnesss and a disintegrating organic structure ” .The metal saloon of the coach skewed her organic structure doing her spinal column and pelvic girdle to interrupt. Because of the destroyed womb Frida could non give birth taking to despair and solitariness, expressed in her self-portrait “ Henry Ford Hospital ” . The physical hurting she suffered from this incident marked a turning point in her perceptual experience of art. In bed-ridden she started to paint as an look of her traumatic experiences. She recorded her emotional province in pigment. During 1946 up to 1950 she underwent eight operations on her spin. Consequently, she confronted herself with ideas about her ain decease visible in the picture “ The Dream ” . The impact of the spinal injury on her uninterrupted agonies is shown in her self-portrait entitled ” The Broken column ” . The header of her agonies by painting was the manner to better her wellbeing or even to maintain her alive. Frida Kahlo transformed her emotions into a piece of art which tells her feelings candidly and unfastened.

Particularly in her life-time she was one of the rare creative persons who were non afraid of showing their emotions through art in such a heartbreaking and flooring manner. Her manner is dramatic and original. Frida largely created self-portraits: “ I paint self-portraits because I am the individual I know best. I paint my ain world. “ Some of Frida?s self-portraits show her weeping, broken up and even shed blooding. Frida had the bravery to demo her organic structure, bare and ill. Her emotions were transformed into a picture, as they were ; she wore her bosom on canvas.

The Broken Column is a self-portrait of Frida Kahlo that shows her agonies. It is like a X-ray image from her broken spinal column. The land colour is a tone of yellow, brown and orange. In the foreground she is standing unsloped ; paralyzed like a statue. Her bare organic structure is shown from the hips upwards. Probably, she is non yet ready to expose herself wholly nude as she covers the pubic country by keeping a white cover. However, it seems as if in one minute the cover might wing off because she does non keep it strongly. The trunk is split vertically into precisely two mirrored parts. Therefore, the in-between portion is symmetrical. Frida?s spinal column is replaced with a broken column which as an ancient component refers back to her bus accident: the beginning of ne’er stoping pain.The spinal column makes it possible to stand unsloped and indicates assurance. It is of psychological and physical importance. Because of the broken column Frida should hold lost stableness. However, this is prevented by the steel girdle. It is in signifier of a grid like prison bars which keeps the organic structure together but at the same clip imprisons her. Similar to the imprisonment by society values and the restricted freedom of movement.Although, being broken she keeps her attitude unsloped. The caput is shifted to the right and supported by the column. By her seeable right ear it seems as if she wants to hear something. Her facial look is exanimate and sad. She is staring and cryings come out of the eyes that express her emotion of hurting. The oral cavity is closed and the lips are somewhat pressed together. The hair is loose which stands in contrast to the bounded organic structure. Like in stylostixis the metallic nails of different sizes stick from all waies into her organic structure, face and right side of the blanket.I know that in conversational Spanish being nailed agencies “ estar calvada ” . In the nonliteral sense it stands for being cheated on. The nails go back to the relationship with her hubby Diego Rivera and could mention to his infidelity.In the background a waste desert is shown which is broken up like her infertile organic structure. The atmosphere conveyed by the desert reinforces her hurting and solitariness. The skyline cuts the pharynx like the column divides the organic structure. Frida is entirely in the dry and bouldery chocolate-brown landscape that stands in contrast to her wet cryings.

The picture has a great impact on me. While taking a expression at it for the first clip I was overwhelmed and my organic structure was tense. I had the feeling of sharing the physical hurting. This is because of the openness and ferociousness done to her organic structure. By this picture Frida shows two sides. Her inner-self ; broken, shed blooding and her visual aspect concealing the hurting by her unsloped position and exanimate face “ mask ” . To me Frida?s strong personality is good shown. I admire her for the bravery to picture the hurting in such an impressive manner as to expose her exposure.

The picture “ The Dream ” shows Frida lying in a wooden bed which floats in the clouds. A xanthous cover covers her organic structure and two pillows are under her caput. She is comfy and has fallen into a deep slumber like the Sleeping Beauty. Her facial look is unagitated and without any preoccupations she seems to be lost in her dream. Rootss are distributing from the bed terminal over the whole bed and making up to the face holding little foliages. A wooden board is fixed on top of the bed. On there a white papier mache skeleton lies like Frida Kahlo. The skeleton holds a clump of flowers and banger are all over his organic structure and legs.

This picture shows her willingness to face with the hardest world: the terminal of her human being. Frida painted her ain decease as she underwent many serious operations taking to the confrontation of decease each time.Frida expresses her decease to the maximal by conceive ofing herself as a skeleton.To some this might be highly flooring to portray oneself already dead. Imagining your ain decease would be the last thing. To explicate why Frida was able to paint her decease one can look back to her Mexican beginning. She was really much involved in Mexican traditions which includes the jubilation of “ Dia de los Muertos ” . On this twenty-four hours the welcoming of the dead is celebrated in a colorful manner. This shows the unafraid attitude Mexicans have towards decease.

As I am of Mexican origin the connexion to the Mexican civilization is seeable. Personally, I am non shocked because the skeleton does non look in a chilling manner. He instead seems to be smiling. Additionally, the luminescent and intense yellow coloured cover makes me believe of the power of visible radiation. Furthermore, the cover protects Frida?s organic structure from the thorny subdivisions.

However, it seems as if the peaceable tranquility of the dream can easy be interrupted. Merely a flicker is necessary to light the bangers. The picture would turn from a inactive to a dynamic one. On the right underside corner the formation of darker clouds might bespeak a conditions alteration. Another reading could be that the background is meant symbolically. Frida is in Eden where she has gained the freedom from emotional agonies.

The picture “ Henry Ford Hospital ” shows Frida lying bare and shed blooding up in bed. Her organic structure is twisted with the legs set and turned to the right side. She covers her pubic bone. The white cover is partially covered with her blood. Her left manus is near to the pollex and she holds strings which are connected to different symbols. The ruddy cords “ vein-like threads ” are connected to six images that symbolize the beginning of hurting and the impact they had on her birthrate. The orchid symbolizes her muliebrity. As it is non integrated in her organic structure the capableness of giving birth is non given to her due to the accident. The snail represents the awkwardness of the abortion and is related to her esthesis of go throughing clip. In the left corner a machine can be seen which stand for the painful abortion due to the proficient portion of it.

In contrast to the bed shown in “ The Dream ” this bed seems to be fundamental and it stands on brown dirt. The bed frame is inscribed: on the length side “ Henry Ford Hospital Detroit ” and on the narrow side “ Julio de 1932 F. K. ” In the background industrial installations are shown. In combination with the bluish gray sky the pictured heartache, despair and solitariness is stressed.The word picture of these industrial installations in Detroit could be connected to her bus accident as it was the modern technique being responsible for the accident to happen.

This picture is related to the emotion of heartache and solitariness after her first abortion in the Henry Ford Hospital. The yearning to hold an ain kid was obsessional. She was urgently waiting for the babe. Thus the abortion hit her really difficult. The loss led to a serious depression. “ In this picture Frida depicts a powerful and consistent statement of inner and outer maternal break, loss, and torment. ”

I think that the anguish she had to face is clearly expressed trough this picture by her position and blood. Frida writhes in hurting. At first, I was confused why the bed is non in infirmary but in a landscape without workss. Like in the “ Broken Column ” a chocolate-brown and dry landscape is shown on which no workss turn. I think that it stands for her incapableness of giving birth. The bars of the bed can be related to the grid seeable in the “ Broken Column ” . Frida is imprisoned in infirmary where she can non get away from hurting. The symbols matched to Frida do me believe of a mind-map.However, everything shown can non be understood at first glimpse. The symbols can be seen as a mystifier Frida gives to the spectator. A narrative is to be discovered.

Niki de Saint Phalle

Niki de Saint Phalle was born in France, Neuilly-Sur-Seine, in 1930. She was a Gallic mixed-media creative person and sculpturer. Brought up in a conservative household and educated in monastery school Niki was confronted with the rigorous values held by society. The domestic place of married womans was one of the chief values that Niki rejected. However, she married immature and gave birth to kids. When she realized that she led a conventional life an interior struggle arose. Furthermore, she had a injury due to her being abused by her male parent. An aggression against work forces developed. Consequently, she had a nervous dislocation and got a intervention in hospital.Like Frida Kahlo she started to show her emotional province right after a serious wellness job. After she had left her household behind her chief focal point became art.Niki de Saint Phalle joined the creative person group called Nouveau Realistes in 1960. In the followers, Niki created the gathering “ Portrait of my lover ” .In 1961 she created her foremost hiting pictures which made her good known around the universe. They were an unfastened door for the acknowledgment of her art works on an international degree.

Niki de Saint Phalle “ Portrait of my lover ” , created in 1961 shows a mark, black tie and white shirt attached to a black board. Alternatively of a man?s caput a mark is placed at which the visitants could throw pointers. On the black painted canvas a tie and a men?s shirt is glued on. The shirt is covered with black droplets. Niki admired Jackson Pollock and could hold been influenced by his actions paintings.Therefore, she might hold applied great force by throwing the pigment on the shirt. The throwing of the pointers is representative for the measure to independency. The particular characteristic of this graphics lies in the changed significance of well-known objects to typify a human. Pieces of art created out of ready for usage objects are called “ Ready-made ” .By this graphics she has was able to happen “ A fertile mercantile establishment for her fierce fury toward work forces -and the dominant masculine art constitution – via the originative look of force.

Niki de Saint Phalle?s performed the creative activity of her shooting pictures in public. All over the universe hiting actions took topographic point. One of these actions is depicted in the above shown exposure. She shocked society by her performance.She shooting at a alleviation with pigment so that all the pigment spilled out and the picture was shed blooding. Her manner of making art by hiting was new as it went against the traditional. The aggressive Acts of the Apostless were meant symbolically. By hiting she released herself from the criterions, “ gained in a solid-middle category place and monastery school ” .

“ The creative person secreted plastic bags filled with pigment behind pictures, and sculptures ; the bags burst when the plants were shot by a gun held by Niki. “ By the act of devastation Niki created a new picture. The scattering of colour plays a function in the self-generated consequence. It seems as if the picture is shed blooding. By her shot pictures she went on phase and showed to public that it is clip for action. Not merely to allow her aggressions out she shot at the picture but every bit good to do the public aware of the barbarous world at that time.Wars and struggles were the current issue. The shots symbolize the power of killing. She acted in an aggressive manner towards her pieces of art in the same manner as society did with her and their opponents.The sacrificial decease of the picture should be a warning to society.


Frida Kahlo expressed her emotional agonies comprehensibly through self-portraits. One can mention back to the beginnings of her hurting. She portrayed herself as the victim of hurting. The background supports the emotion.

Niki de Saint Phalle expressed her emotional agonies in a wholly different manner. Rather than painting she made usage of the function oppressor-victim by executing art. She was non the one agony from hurting but a adult females standing up contending back in malice of society values. Niki wanted to be in the function of the attacker non of the suppressed 1. By hiting at it she seems like a beautiful Amazon. This was new for that clip to see a adult females keeping a gun in their custodies and non being the composure and transporting family adult female. Niki violated the traditional function of adult females. Furthermore, she freed herself from this function she did non to suit in. Niki shooting with assurance, bravery and strength at the painting demoing her high quality. She killed the picture but at the same clip gave birth to a new one. Death and metempsychosis are connected in a manner that her look became constructive alternatively of destructive. Trying to make public by executing the shot on a larger scale significance on international shot session shows the great measure she did to do an entreaty to others. Killing the picture was her manner to acquire her aggression out.Finally, she reached to get the better of and get by with her emotional agonies by hiting and even more “ I became addicted to hiting like one becomes addicted to a drug ” .

Blood appears in both of the artistic looks either in picture as blood droplet out of a lesion or as the picture being hurt and shed blooding.

I was impressed by their bravery to travel that far in art as to demo their ain nude and ill organic structure or moving violently by hiting. It is unbelievable as to what extent they had success. While researching and taking a expression at their lifes I realized that both had a male creative person who helped them to show. They were normally people who were right in society holding a certain influence as a celebrated painter: Diego Rivera and Jean Tinguely.

By showing art they went on phase non concealing their feelings any longer but taking a direct confrontation with these. They do non desire or can get away any longer.

I became interested in the fact that if other people non being creative persons can get by with their emotional agonies by making art. To acquire an reply I went to the “ Malwerksatt ” in the “ Asklepios Klinikum in G & A ; ouml ; ttingen, Germany ” where mentally ache adult females make art one time per hebdomad for approximately two hours. I interviewed them about their feelings, experiences with art and took a expression at their graphicss. Eve Kaboth is in charge of the “ Malwerkstatt ” and provides aid in instance of aid but does non measure them in any manner. This is particularly of import as it guarantees a free working atmosphere. The adult females holding experient loss, treachery and suppression are seeking to make art as to better their wellbeing. Negative emotions are released go forthing them relieved and happy. As to their pictures they largely do them subconsciously without holding a clear thought in head but which will develop during the procedure. I took a expression at one painting demoing buffoons covered by colored oil pastels smashed on the paper. Normally they are afraid of portraying worlds. They represent some sort of colorful dream universe. A composing of colorss in which the signifiers, lines and objects do non play a important function. While painting they are relaxed and bask it.

This picture seems as if the adult female is still concealing like the buffoons shown in the image. By this picture it is clear that she is non yet ready to travel on phase. The feeling I got is that they have non to the full get the better of the imprisonment by society and confronted themselves with their agonies. Thus the measure of demoing everything openly, provokingly in order to to the full get by with them is non yet reached.

Niki de Saint Phalle and Frida Kahlo, in contrast to the mentally wounded adult females, reached the highest point they could perchance make by their look. Making art was non restricted by society any longer. Art is an expressive beginning the creative persons Niki de Saint Phalle and Frida Kahlo realized. With their traveling art they freed themselves but non merely this. They went a measure farther by interrupting society values. Frida Kahlo drew herself hemorrhage, unfastened and bare. Particularly at that clip when creative persons were non supposed to show themselves in the picture as if they were the topic. Taking this into consideration one can see analogues to Niki as she was the first adult female non being a victim but the attacker. They realized that emotional agonies can trip creativeness and be seen as a generation beginning of new expressive art. But this is non at all easy to undergo. It requires bravery and the refusal to run off from the inner ego, unconscious and the unknown.


To reply the research inquiry “ How make Frida Kahlo and Niki de Saint Phalle header with their emotional agonies by making art? ” I came to the decision that both, Frida Kahlo and Niki de Saint Phalle header with their emotional agonies by making art in a different manner. Frida Kahlo documented her emotional agonies by painting, particularly self-portraits. The extension of her is Niki de Saint Phalle whose action was art. She created hiting pictures.

Emotional agonies can be good and reenforce a development ( out of a crisis new things are created ) . Without holding these experiences and the related emotional agonies this new look of art would non hold been created. Therefore emotional agonies can be seen from positive point of position. “ Creativity, so, can in portion be thought of as the capacity to show the diabolic constructively. This is what all great creative persons do. ”

Is there a bound to get by with emotional agonies by making art? When is it said non to be ethical?

On the one manus the shot pictures helped Niki to get by with her agonies but on the other manus she shocked society by her public presentation. But sometimes it can be good to pull people?s attending to an issue by flooring them. I think that every bit long as no worlds, animate beings and ethical rules are hurt by the art procedure it is legitimate.


Primary Source: Interview with mentally hurt adult females and the leader of the workshop. August-October 2009. Asklepios Fachklinikum G & A ; ouml ; ttingen in Germany.

Secondary Beginnings:


  • Bauer, Claudia. Frida Kahlo. M & A ; uuml ; nchen: Prestel Verlag, 2005.
  • Becker, Monika. Starke Weiblichkeit entfesseln. Niki de Saint Phalle. Berlin: List Taschenbuchverlag, 2005.
  • Diamond, Stephen A. Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic. New York: State University of New York Press, 1999.
  • Herrera, Hayden. Frida Kahlo.Malerin der Schmerzen-Rebellin gegen hyrax Unab & A ; auml ; nderliche. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1988.
  • Prignitz-Poda, Helga. Frida Kahlo. Die Malerin und ihr Werk. M & A ; uuml ; nchen: Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, 2003.
  • Schr & A ; ouml ; der, Stefanie. Ein starkes verwundetes Herz – Niki de Saint Phalle. Ein K & A ; uuml ; nstlerleben.Freiburg: Herde Verlag, 2002.
  • Seemann, Annette von. “ Ich habe mich in eine Heilige verwandelt ” . Frida Kahlo.M & A ; uuml ; nchen: List Taschenbuch Verlag, 2002.


  • Goldsmith, Marlene. Abjection and Psychic Deadness In The Paintings of Frida Kahlo. The Psychoanalytical Review Vol.92, No. 6, December 2004. 729-758p.

Web sites:

  • Brown, Amy. Frida Kahlo an astonishing adult female. hypertext transfer protocol: //
  • Frida by Kahlo. hypertext transfer protocol: //
  • Niki?s functionary web site. hypertext transfer protocol: //
  • Tate Liverpool Educators?Pack. hypertext transfer protocol: //

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