The painting, Self-Portrait With Dr. Farill, was painted by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in 1951. At this time, her health had significantly declined due to an accident she had a year prior which forced her to spend nine months in a hospital after having spinal surgery. The self-portrait is extremely significant as it represents the changes that happened within Kahlo’s life at the time – she had just divorced her husband Diego Rivera, and opted to wear male clothing throughout the painting which is quite uncharacteristic for her. It is a powerful representation of the physical and mental struggle Frida went through during this period of her life.
Kahlo often used surrealism in her art and Self-Portrait With Dr. Farill is no exception. This particular artwork speaks volumes about who she was as a person, yet it remains generally elusive as with most of Kahlo’s other works. Another example of this genre from Kahlo is Self-Portrait With Monkey (1938), which creates an even more abstract image that leaves interpretation open to viewers. Both of these paintings exemplify Kahlo’s unique ability to send something meaningful through her artwork while also leaving a level of mystery without formulating obvious conclusions.