Self-Portrait with Monkey (1938) by Frida Kahlo

Self-Portrait with Monkey - Frida Kahlo - 1938

Artwork Information

TitleSelf-Portrait with Monkey
ArtistFrida Kahlo
MediumOil on Masonite
Dimensions40.6 x 30.5 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationAlbright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, US

About Self-Portrait with Monkey

The artwork “Self-Portrait with Monkey” was created by artist Frida Kahlo in 1938. This self-portrait is an oil on masonite painting that measures 40.6 by 30.5 cm. It is a representation of Naïve Art, specifically Primitivism, and is part of the collection at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery located in Buffalo, NY, US.

The artwork features Frida Kahlo as the central figure with a penetrating gaze directed outward, asserting her presence and identity. Her signature eyebrows are prominently joined, and her hair is styled in an intricate updo. To her left, a small monkey can be seen, which is a common motif in Kahlo’s work, often symbolizing companionship and a surrogate for children she could not have. Additionally, a pre-Columbian necklace adorns her neck, further reinforcing her connection to her Mexican heritage. The backdrop consists of lush greenery, complementing the organic and personal themes of the self-portrait. Overall, the composition conveys a sense of stoic intimacy and reflects Kahlo’s tendency to incorporate elements of her life and cultural identity into her art.

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