Roots (Raices) is an oil painting created by the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo de Rivera. In this artwork, she has placed a skull and bone in a desert landscape resting on her forehead to accentuate despair, while the wall of leaves surrounding represent life and hope. In addition to these powerful symbols, the painting also displays a naked woman with open legs and ornamented breasts, with a pregnant belly, suggesting questions about fertility and mortality.
The painting was completed in 1943, displaying Kahlo’s investigations into themes of family relationships, religious identity, political repression, history and personal identity. Although at first sight it can appear as a deeply pessimistic work, it is clear that there is also an expression of hope and faith towards overcoming oppression through natural sources of sustenance and spiritual beliefs.
The painting is an interesting example of Kahlo’s style which combines realism with surrealism; rooted in Mexican artifacts and culture with obvious European influences. With Roots (Raices), Frida Kahlo delved into her artistry to create a piece which deal con effectively with both light and darkness; even though her emotions leaned towards pain in this artwork – both physical and psychological – it was important for Kahlo to symbolize rebirth through the imagery used.
On the following year 1944 Kahlo exhibited her oil portrait ‘Portrait Of Dona Rosita Morillo’. This portrait was one of many representations made by Kahlo while living abroad in San Francisco. Through her influential work such as ‘Roots’ (Raices) we come to understand intimacy portrayed by the life works of Frida Kahlo de Rivera – creating powerful visual metaphors that have been enjoyed throughout generations across the world.