ABSTRACT. This article examines Frida Kahlo’s career in an attempt to offer a refinement to Oana Baddeley’s suggestion that the reception of female artists, more often male artists, tends to be overshadowed by their personal style and life. While this argument appears to be supported by Kahlo’s reception, especially during her resurgence of popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, Kahlo is somewhat unique in that her personal style was so much an extension of her body of art. In addition, the personal style that attracts so many may be considered additive value leading to a greater appreciation of Kahlo’s art but it should also be valued as an art in itself. While Baddeley’s argument admirably attempts to safeguard female creativity in the realm of high art, it minimizes popular art. In so doing, it falls prey to the “ironies” which seem to arise frequently from the “fault-lines within the post-modernist and/ or feminist projects” as discussed by Anne Beer in “Johnny and Bess: Life Writing and Gender.” pp. 108–118

Keywords: Frida Kahlo, gender issues, popular culture, life writing, fashion

How to cite: Nelson, Barbara (2013), “(De)Fusing the Bomb (Shell): Gender Issues, Popular Culture and Frida Kahlo,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 3(1): 108–118.

Ph.D., Michigan State University, United States of America
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