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Paper 112: Unsettling Bodies: Frida Khalo's portraits and in/dividuality

Joanna Latimer

They thought I was a surrealist, but I wasn’t.
I never painted dreams.
I painted my own reality.

(Frida Khalo cited in Kettenman 2002:48)


This paper examines the self-portraits of Frida Khalo to explore ideas about the significance of the body for understanding notions of self and reality. Khalo states that her paintings are both of her self and of her own reality: her paintings thus invite examination of how Khalo portraits self, and how she depicts ‘reality’. 

Unsettling Bodies: Frida Khalo’s portraits and in/dividualityi, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Series Working Paper Series, July(2008)

Additional Information


This working paper was delivered at a SOCSI Social Theory Forum Seminar held in the Glamorgan Building on the 18th June 2008