Frida Kahlo in a kind of frame she may well have selected herself. She made her frames, painted them and referenced Mexican popular culture. She even made a shell frame a traditional style of frame few exist in the present.
You can see that the banner is the same as used on tin retablos, devotional paintings made by the general public in her time.
Tin making is quite the craft in Mexico and this one is prettily punched into a lacy design by Mexican craftspeople. They used to craft gold into very intricate pieces using the lost wax method, most was melted down by the Spanish.
The leaves appear to be cocoa leaves we make chocolate from the berries. The discovery of chocolate caused misery for Mexicans and Africans as they were forced to labour on the farms. Frida here appears to be talking about her brown indigenous heritage and others in Mexico so she weeps for them. Her shawl is brown.
Mole is a famed spicy Mexican chocolate sauce eaten with meat. Frida is playing with various connotations of the name. The little white flowers are cocoa buds. She has dedicated this painting to a favourite doctor who was quite eccentric.
“I painted my portrait in the year 1940 for Dr. Eloesser, my doctor and my best friend. With all love, Frida Kahlo.’ says the dedication. She had at least 30 operations some with this doctor and several abortions and one bad miscarriage.
She revels in their disparity of colour and manifestation she appears to be playful about this. There are layers to Frida's paintings. Both her and Diego were outrageously promiscuous though there remained a strong bond.
Huge numbers of plants are medicinal from Sth America and indigenous people still retain knowledge.
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