Doctor Farill by Frida Kahlo

Düzenli yazarımız Haneen Karat yazdı.

This interesting painting caught my attention, it belongs to a famous artist from Mexico, Frida Kahlo, who painted herself with her surgeon Doctor Juan Farill.

Dr. Farill performed seven surgeries on Frida’s spine in the year of 1951. She had to stay in the hospital in Mexico City for nine months. When she finally recovered and was able to paint again, the first painting she painted was this self-portrait and she dedicated it to Dr. Farill. She wrote in her diary: “I was sick for a year…. seven operations on my spine. Dr. Farill saved me.”, she was sitting in a wheelchair, holding her heart palette in one hand, and brushes in another. It implied she was painting using her own blood from her heart.  It was a recognition to Dr. Farill for performing the surgeries. In some reviews, it mentions that the heart signifies her putting her heart into the painting as the doctor put his heart into the surgery. In others, it signifies that she has gone through a lot of pain and is still recovering after the surgery. One other mention is she could not live if it weren’t for Dr. Farill. We are drawn to the premonition of her feeling of gratitude toward Dr. Farill for saving her life.

Frida has also painted Dr. Farill with a unibrow as she also paints herself. The unibrow is considered as her trademark since she gives to all her subjects including herself.  Frida was a feminist icon, her unibrow has had the significant meaning shouting out, “I won’t curb my self-expression to meet your expectations of how a woman should look.” The unibrow was a firm statement rejecting stereotypes about what is and isn’t attractive.

I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo said, “I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.” I know that this was the first piece she did after recovering for months after spine surgeries and credited him with saving her life. It’s a moving tribute to the importance he held for her.


Self Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill, Kahlo Organisation

Check out Haneen’s piece

from our 14th of March issue.