Last week I hoped to perhaps see this painting in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s current exhibition, and it turned out to actually be there. I like this painting, yet, like Christina’s World, and perhaps like all other paintings, reproduced images have nothing on the original. This painting totally captured me in the AGO; I …
" /> Jason Holborn | Cybercarnet/Weblog - Self-Portrait With Monkey (Frida Kahlo, 1938)

Self-Portrait With Monkey (Frida Kahlo, 1938)

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Last week I hoped to perhaps see this painting in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s current exhibition, and it turned out to actually be there.

I like this painting, yet, like Christina’s World, and perhaps like all other paintings, reproduced images have nothing on the original. This painting totally captured me in the AGO; I stared for a long while and when I’d finished the exhibit, I returned to it again.

The monkey especially drew me in, and did so again the second time viewing it. Its eyes, its expression, its casually draped arm, its presence seemed more expressive and real than a photograph. I was transfixed, fascinated, on the monkey’s face for so long that I experienced a mental optical illusion: the colors shifted and blurred and regrouped, the monkey seemed to breathe, and I kept staring until its eyes and face pressed out if the canvas, like a paint-stroked 3-D image, to turn to and look at me. It was an incredible viewing experience; I’m often at a relative loss regarding art, yet this painting really and truly engrossed me and gave me a deep and memorable experience.

Also, she sports a really cool necklace as well.