Frida Kahlo: Trauma, Abjection, and Affect

Artworks: The Broken Column

Painted in 1944, The Broken Column could be one of the most affective pieces depicting pain and trauma. During this period, Kahlo had to wear a steel corset because of her constant back pain. In the painting, the corset seems to be the only thing holding her together and upright since the broken column – in place of her damaged spine – is fractured and broken in several places. The background portrays a vast land which symbolises loneliness and the nails embedded in her skin, on her face and body increase the affective appeal of pain.

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