Roots, 1943 Frida Kahlo

Roots 1943 Frida Kahlo

Between the years 1940 and 1943, many things happened in the life of Frida Kahlo. In December 1940, Kahlo and Diego Rivera married again. His friend Leon Trotsky, a member and leader of Stalin’s opposition, was assassinated. In 1941 her father died, and as a result Kahlo suffered a period of depression. In 1943 Kahlo joined a school of sculpture and painting to teach art classes. It was called La Esmeralda. After a short time, Kahlo’s health was failing, and she was unable to leave her house to go to school. As a result, she had art classes at the Blue House.

In 1943, Kahlo painted “Roots.” In the painting, Kahlo had returned to her cultural image before her divorce from Rivera. He has long hair and a dressed culture again. Kahlo is lying on volcano rock that represents the land of Mexico. In the painting, Kahlo is merging with a plant. The plant originates from his chest, and the stems of the plants are his arteries and veins. The plant is escaping its body into the world. The edges of the plant leaf have blood that is passing through the soil. The image of Kahlo with the plants represents the concept of the mother. Kahlo is creating life with her body like a typical mother creating children. It is possible she created a reference to the sacrifice of Christ, a common reference throughout her works.

In 1953, Kahlo gave this work and 4 others to the Tate Gallery in London for the British Arts Council’s exhibition of Mexican art. In this exhibition, the work was called “El Pedregal” because of the lava bed.

Prior to 2006, the work was part of the Maryln I. Lubtekin Collection in Huston Texas. In 2006 the painting was auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York. I sold the work for $5,616,000 million USD, a record for Kahlo. I sold it to an anonymous phone bidder, but rumor has it the person was Madonna.

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