The painting was done using the primitivism style. Frida used oil on metal to complete the painting in 1937. The painting portrays Frida undergoing a breastfeeding exercise by her Indian wet nurse. Frida's mother could not breastfeed her because she was nursing Cristina, Frida’s younger sister. The nurse was hired to breastfeed Frida. The nurse was only contracted for a short period because she used to drink while on duty.
In the painting, there is a cold and distant relationship that is evident between Frida and her nurse. The act of nursing seems to be an efficient process that does not involve any affection like embracing or cuddling that a baby needs. The nurse is wearing a pre-Columbian funerary mask while the baby has Frida’s mature head. One of the reasons for this expression might be because Frida could not remember how they both looked like when she was young.
The painting also shows how Frida feels the distance from her mother. Frida had a strange relationship with her caregivers; she never bonded with her mom, and she also never developed a relationship with her nurse. The painting also displays Frida as a sacrificial offering on the arms of her nurse.
My Nurse and I is part of a series of paintings that Frida documented to show the major events that happened in her life. The series of paintings is a project that was encouraged by Diego Rivera, her husband. The painting My Nurse and I is one of her most amazing works. In the original painting, Frida had short hair, but she later reworked on the canvas to showcase long hair.
In the painting, you can see raindrops of milk which signify the work the nurse is doing to get more money to fund her lifestyle. On the right side, there is a milk leaf, which also portrays how she made a living with the task of being a nurse. The overall message of the painting is disturbing, while it also plays a role to showcase how baby Frida grew up. The painting currently resides at Dolores Olmedo Collection in Mexico Mexico.