Frida & Señor Xolo.

Frida Kahlo de Rivera born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón; July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán, who is best known for her self-portraits.

Kahlo’s life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. She gave her birth date as July 7, 1910, but her birth certificate shows July 6, 1907. Kahlo had allegedly wanted the year of her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican revolution so that her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

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Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are important in her work, which has been sometimes characterized as Naïve art or folk art.Her work has also been described as “surrealist”, and in 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo’s art as a “ribbon around a bomb”.Kahlo had a volatile marriage with the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera.

Frida Kahlo underwent more than thirty operations in the course of her life, and most of her paintings relate to her experiences with physical and psychological suffering. They also chronicle her turbulent relationship with Diego Rivera, Mexico’s most famous painter, whom Kahlo met in 1928 and married in 1929. Rivera was frequently unfaithful to her, even starting an affair with her sister, Cristina.

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The dogs surrounding Frida Kahlo are Mexican dogs, also called Mexican naked dog or Xolo dog because of their lack of hair on almost the complete part of their bodies. Her first dog, called El Señor Xolotl is regularly present in her art particularly in the painting about death and divinity. « The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Myself, Diego and Señor Xolotl » painted in 1949 represent Señor Xolotl sleeping on an arm.

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Señor Xolotl, is more than simply one of the artist’s favorite pets: it represents Xolotl, the form of a dog who guards the underworld, a god representation.

XOLOITZCUINTLE, the dog’s breed name, come from the Azteque language “Nahuati”  and is really composed of two names:

XOLOTL : Azteque god & ITZCUINTLI – Dog.

Theses words together means « Xolotl god’s dog » and regarding the particularity of the god, he is the dog who  bring the soul of dead people to the spirit world. This could had been the reason of her fascination for Señor Xolotl, and his representation in her life and her paints. 2

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We can think this relation comes from her specifique bond with death specially because of her abortion in 1930 and her miscarriage in 1932.

Frida Kahlo remains best known for her work than as a pet friendly, but this love she had with her ​​dog is a part of the explication for some of her paintings.

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3 comments

  1. I like your post on Frida! I too, have enjoyed reading about her life and times of courage. We all can take lessons from her endurance and pain. I would like to link to this post if you approve. Thanking you in advance, Doris aka Queen Rose

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