Latin art has a very distinctive flair that identifies it as its own. Characteristics usually include: colorfulness, playfulness, and imaginative subject matter. Imagine the obsolescence of this beautiful art form. This would be assimilation into American Art. An example of anti-assimilation is illustrated in the early 20th century through Latin artists like Frida Kahlo who even though was immersed in modern American industrial culture still represented the nature of her language which was surrealist Latin art.
Frida Kahlo, a Latin American surrealist artist broke the boundaries of industrial America by sticking to her roots, grounded in her home country. Kahlo frequently painted self-portraits, depicting intimate moments of her life. These intimate moments include her relationships with friends, family, comrades and most importantly herself. Her self portraits are the key identifier into her particular artistic style. This is what makes a Frida Kahlo art piece, a Frida Kahlo. Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera, traveled to the states for his exhibitions due to his popularity in America. His artwork was seen as unusual and exotic to the American eye. Rivera and Kahlo together were a sight for sore eyes, with their unusual pairing, him being over six feet tall and 300 pounds and her being about 5 feet, five inches and a light 90 pounds. Despite their appearance differences, they were madly in love which was clear to any viewer of the couple.
Prior to going to Detroit, which was one of the primary destinations in the United States, Kahlo and Rivera spent time in San Francisco then in New York. Rivera held lectures at various schools and museums, where he was invited. Kahlo, at this time of her life was more of a reclusive, spending her time on the sidelines to Rivera’s outgoing personality. During the early years of their marriage and during their early time in United States, Kahlo had not developed her own extroverted personality yet. It would take her some time on her own exploring a new country, the United States, to allow her to develop her Frida personality. Kahlo let Rivera’s art shine rather than her own. She was happy to see her husband immensely happy with his popularity in America. Later on, during her time in the United States, she made friends and was not as dependent on him as she was before.
As Rivera was wildly popular among Bourgeois, him and his wife were invited to the most extravagant gatherings. The Bourgeois Americans found Kahlo’s traditional Mexican garb costume like, which only antagonized her to wear her most outlandish clothing to large public events in retaliation. Kahlo was immensely proud of her heritage and did not stop to show it in the public eye. This was one of her personality traits that made her wildly popular with the public. Kahlo was an instigator to others who viewed her in a negative light. The opinions of others did not distract her from being exactly who she was.
Kahlo refused to conform to American culture. She did not assimilate but rather stand out and represent her identity as a Latin artist. This is important because it shows that she is not a sellout to her culture. The impact it has on American culture is acceptance. South America is the same soil as North America and it is significant to identify them and their cultures. Frida Kahlo and her artwork should be an inspiration to the artist who wants to convey their culture and stay true to themselves.