Gringolandia, 2012, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″

Gringolandia, 2012, oil on canvas, 16

This piece is part of an assignment meant to demonstrate the culmination of my understanding of the complexities of symbolism and surrealistic movement of the art of Frida Kahlo. The painting is evocative of my pain. The loss of the close proximity of the grandchildren with whom I lived until divorce caused our separation is expressed in Gringolandia. Kahlo referred to the United States as Gringolandia, the meaning of which subtly signifies its unique cultural attributes. One of those cultural attributes common today in the United States is the loss of family unity, divorce.
Prominent in the foreground are my grandchildren, Vinny and Bella, a reproduction of a photograph taken in my backyard on a sunny June morning, laughing at their grandmother trying to take a picture with a camera that defied me without the use of my glasses. Their uplifting smiles are counterbalanced by the single tear (mine) dropping into an abyss created by a tear in the bay waters. The struggle between the light, sun-filled sky and the moonlit darkness, male against female represents divorce. The canvas is not divided in half by darkness as it would have separated the children and cast Bella in darkness, which is not true. In order to represent the truth, it was necessary for the structure to be off-balance. The children’s position in the foreground with the massive Golden Gate Bridge represents the physical distance between us, they moved to the Bay Area, far from the Puget Sound. Their clothes are current day indigenous, blue jeans and t-shirts. Last, but not least, is the prison-like structure which represents the incarceration of my emotions, because one cannot go around crying about loss forever, so these emotions are bottled-up and secured behind bars.

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