Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Frida Kahlo and Hieronymus Bosch

Graduate Student e725 correspondent Dan Barlow checks in with a cool posting:

Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2007 22:58:30 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: English 725: Blog material
From: "Dan Barlow"

In my post-Kahlo curiosity, I delved into the work of Hieronymus Bosch to seek out works that may have influenced Frida. While scouring Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights," I found a most interesting detail: Bosch appears to have discretely allowed for an inter-racial couple in the Garden of Eden (see "bosch" attachment and look closely at the upper left).

This immediately reminded me of Flor Garduno's "Eden" from Inner Light.

Then I went back to Frida's work and noticed the painting "Two Nudes in a Forest," once more a very edenic setting occupied by dark and light skin figures.

Interesting revisionist themes running through these works, I'd say. Also fascinating is the argument I've just read that Bosch symbolically inserted his own Catharistic views--then "heretical"--into certain works commissioned by his Catholic patrons. In any event, I found it extremely interesting to encounter these (postcolonial?) ideas from dates as early Bosch's painting of "Garden," which was c. 1505.

1 comment:

  1. Great catch, Dan! And what I find even more interesting is that, possibly under the influence of a pre-Fanonic postcolonial cocktail, we focus on the interracial elements of these paintings and not on Kahlo and Garduño clearly showing two women, delightfully in their garden(s). With Bosch, it's not as clear what gender the people are, but they look a little hetero ("het", as they say at the Brass Rail) to me. Does this mean that Western artistic representations became "racially" progressive before they became "sexually" progressive? How does this play out when we consider the psychological implications or postcolonial lesbian fantasies? And what does our own focus on white/brown tell us about us? Only Fanon will tell--or not!