Another Pilot Down: The Artwork of George Gonzalez

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Influences: Frida Kahlo

For those whom have seen my artwork in person or visited my website, you'd more than likely see a lot of different artists and influences buried deep within my drawings and paintings. I like to draw from all sorts of diverse things and in the end I try to really paint a piece of work that really says something about me and who I am.

With that being said, I think it is safe to say that my biggest influence are the works of Frida Kahlo. Even before I got to know what kind of artist she was, the similarities in what I was doing mimicked that of hers as well. For instance, Frida suffered lifelong health issues and while they were the result of a car accident that happened when she was a teenager, this was something that I knew too much about. Since I was born with Marfan Syndrome, much of my early years were spent alone, isolated, and I felt like an outcast from the rest of the students. Spending weeks in hospitals didn't help this isolation either. This was a feeling that Frida felt too and she expressed that depression in her paintings.

She's often quoted in saying, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” It's in that statement where I truly feel a deep and sorrowful connection with her. Like the majority of my drawings, my pieces are deep and personal reflections of myself. Frida did exactly that. Everything she painted was drawn from personal experiences, her numerous operations, and her unfortunate miscarriages. While her accident left her in a great deal of pain, she used her works to capture everything she felt and made masterpieces that would live on forever. Like in my own drawings, she often painted herself with all these abstract and very surreal imagery around her.

In conclusion, Frida Kahlo is an artist whom has shaped me greatly and I constantly continue to draw much inspiration from her. As I stare into her paintings, I see the inner turmoil and sadness she went through. But I also feel the relentless beating heart of a strong and powerful woman. I can only dream that one day someone will feel the same about my artwork.

**Originally published in Spanish in the July 27th, 2013 issue of Antesala

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