The Strength of a Gaze - The portrait gives us what we expect of a Kahlo work- it shows Frida in traditional Mexican dress arresting the attention of the audience by simply, steadfastly gazing out of the painting. Her gaze itself is arresting, diverting attention away from the details of the painting and to the artist herself.
The image showcases Kahlo's great skill as an artist. Her brush strokes are light and fluid, allowing the painting to remain accurate and intense without becoming unrestrained. The effect is a painting full of unremembered fine details that are overshadowed by Kahlo's subject matter - herself.
Biographers talk about Kahlo's desire to be noticed; the physical pain that she endured throughout the years of her life and the link between this and the attention she received for her illnesses.
In a sense this direct gaze is a provocative way for Frida the artist to get the attention that Frida the individual was said to crave.
Frida and Her Parrots
The rigidity of the painting is also broken by details within the work. The parrots bring depth, the intricate detailing of their feathers providing a subtle contrast to the smooth simplicity of Frida's appearance. The ruffled, protective parrots enhance the sensual tactility of the work, the calm simplicity of Kahlo's mien magnified against them.
In spite of their bright colours, the parrots do not outshine Kahlo. Instead of detracting from her presence they enhance it, bringing a different dimension to it. She becomes even calmer, even more reserved because the parrots bring a dishevelled disorder with them.
Me and My Parrots is like an oasis of calm in Kahlo's story. In spite of her grief at the loss of her father, her physical suffering and her darkly absorbing marriage there were still places of peace she could find for herself.