Sunday, February 13, 2011

Frida Kahlo: The Wounded Table

Frida Kahlo’s work entitled “Wounded Table” is another piece of bleak and raw emotion delivered straight from the dark corners of Kahlo’s heart as she was experiencing heavy distress over the divorce from Diego Rivera. This piece of art is depressing and dismal, and traces the structure found in “The Last Supper” having symmetry and designed for a larger frame, unlike much of her other pieces of art. The “Wounded Table” represents many emotions all entwined into one piece, ranging from despair and numbness to a sense of betrayal and acceptance. What Struck me from the very minute I saw the art was the format in which it was created, the title itself, and the content of innocence and devious elements that contend with one another in the frame.
This piece stuck out to me more than any other mainly due to the content, and the message I read here is that she is numb. The table has been personified with legs and feet and is bleeding as Kahlo feels during this even darker time period of her life, yet she includes a deer and her sisters’ two children representing youth and innocence. On the other hand, there are disfigured characters, the one to her right I am assuming is Diego, and the colors represented here are both warm yet also desolate. I felt that this was done on purpose as though to negate one another and represent how bare and stagnant she feels, somewhat like a table. I also noticed that the deer and children have smaller legs, possibly to demonstrate a certain grace that Diego lacked, seeing that his feet were very large. Like “The Last Supper”, Diego bears the role of Judas, representing immense betrayal, all while she takes the role that Christ had served and she bears the weight that Diego places the table, yet accepts the arm that goes around her shoulder. One again these elements begin to negate one another, and the other figure on her left reminds me of death and one would imagine that she has considered the unknown path of the afterlife for some time now.
My experience with this artwork has been depressing yet I can understand to some extent the emotions that are conflicting in her. She wants things to work but time after time has been betrayed, and somewhat seems to contend with the idea of being with Diego. Ultimately this picture screams to me a feeling of despair but more so a feeling of indifference and numbness. I have always felt art like many other mediums of expression are truly free and should never “belong” to anyone as it enlightens us all in different ways and we get as much out of it as we wish to take from it. Art will always have a place in my mind as it is always available to us in many forms and to create some form of art, something that I feel can contribute to the rest of the world would be a redeeming feeling. Whenever we experience art, there is some small part of us that changes and yearns to be captivated and so when a piece of art truly strikes us reflect within ourselves to find meaning. While my exposure to art has been limited, it is usually the art that is based on nature or things within their captured element or essence that always blow me away. I find many pieces of art to be relaxing and at times can take me away to a different time and place. Any art can be challenging, but any piece of art, regardless of tone and depth, can pique ones interest, but ultimately it is in the eye of the beholder to define what is pretty and what is not. Being that art is so subjective; we all find different meaning in it according to what our souls desire most.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Good Life

For many, the good life may include an ending like that of a fairy tale, with an ending that is happy forever after, but for those of us who reside in reality, the definition of good can be a blur. For me, I could be relatively content with a fairy tale ending, but as Einstein once wrote, "I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves - this ethical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty", and like Einstein, it is the people and activities around us that keep us connected to what is real, good and bad. For me, the good life would of course include being financially ahead, not just making it check to check, but being able to reserve the type of money that actually counts. The good life would mean having a job that I am efficient at and enjoy enough that the workday doesn't necessarily feel like work. The good life would revolve around those who are closet to me and would also mean there is stability not only in my life, but theirs as well.
In order to attain the good life, one must work hard so that the many things we take for granted have value, and with the hard work we gain the discipline necessary to move ahead to the good life, having the intelligence to make rational decisions necessary to be truly free and independent yet still weaved into society. The most crucial conditions required to live the good life are education, a childlike sense of amusement and having the patience to deal with all of life’s screwballs. We must not forget the essentials of living together in an ever shrinking world of respect, discipline and ingenuity. Contemporary society helps us all come together in a respectable fashion allowing us to coexist and create something greater. The main issue in our current society is the massive amount of competition and "lack of resources" for those of us who aren't at the top of the totem pole. As everyone strives for the same good life, we negate other options that may be available to us, thus creating a society all chasing after the universal coin, placing ourselves in the pockets of monopolies and enterprises. Some may consider this good, others the root of evil, but there are more paths to the good life than one. Essentially, I feel that one is living the good life when they treat others as they would want to be treated, as for the most part people want to be treated well and as logical human beings.