Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter linked to the Surrealist movement. She was regarded as a Chicano which meant a feminist icon. She specialized in self-portraits, The Chick is a painting that expressed what she was going through at that moment. Having been inspired by the Mexican popular culture, she used primitivism (also known as naive folk) art to explore various topics such as postcolonialism, gender, class, race in the Mexican society and identity in her famous pieces. Most of her paintings, like The Chick, had a mixture of fantasy and realism. The Chick, like other paintings, had autobiographical elements. Frida was also described as a magical Realist or Surrealist because of the way she did her paintings, like The Chick.
During the time of the painting, Frida Kahlo was going through a series of hardships. She had just lost her father and she was nearly breaking up with her lover, Diego Rivera. She was also having personal health issues which rendered her bedridden for a while. All these happenings made her emotionally exhausted so she made this painting as an expression of what she was going through.
In the painting, she depicts a helpless chick in trouble. The chick is lonely and it is standing on some broken twigs that are dead and dried up. These twigs seemingly symbolize her dead relationship with her ex-lover Diego Rivera. Beside this chick, there is a beautiful tree which has been infested with all kinds of insects. A spider has also built its web over the tree. Here, she seems to depict herself as the helpless, fragile chick, who is looking up to the once beautiful tree which is her dead father. The infestation and cobwebs bring out the sadness associated with his death. How this chick is looking up to the tree shows how much she needs her father but she can't get to him.
Frida Kahlo left no verbal or written documentation on The Chick, so critiques are only left to speculate its true meaning. You could also say that the cobwebs symbolize how trapped she felt, with all that was happening, she still felt ill and didn’t have someone to talk to.