Portrait of Luther Burbank, 1931 Frida Kahlo

Portrait of Luther Burbank 1931 Frida Kahlo

This portrait depicts Luther Burbank, the Labrador known for breeding exceptional fruit and vegetable hybrids. In this portrait, Burbank is shown as a hybrid with part of a male and the other half as a tree. It shows that Burbank was holding a rootless plant that is the obvious one of his hybrid and was planted himself. Their legs are shown as logs of trees and the roots feed on their own grove. This oil is the first canvas to show Frida’s favorite theme: “the fertilization of life through death.” Burbank was hidden under a tree in his California home after his death in 1926 and is just a metaphor for that. In this portrait, for the first time, Frida departed from the simple description of the external subject. She was in contact with surrealism during her stay in San Francisco and could be influenced by the style. Another speculation is that the style of this tincture comes bluntly from its Mexican origin. In Mexican culture, they believe that human beings would become vegetations and animals and this is a common script in Mexican virtuosity.

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