Despite selling few paintings during her lifetime, feminist icon Frida Kahlo continues to be widely celebrated for her boundary-pushing work. Through her art, most notably her self-portraits, Kahlo created images of female beauty which diverged from early twentieth century ideals.
The study of the persecution of witches is not a new idea – the almost morbid fascination with women’s persecution in the form of witch trials has permeated our imaginations for decades. Indeed, the image of the witch has long been a figure of literature and art: from folkloric tales, to modern day films. Yet beneath the comical and exaggerated depictions in popular media and children’s literature lies a very real history, with arguably quite disturbing ties to medieval Christianity and the persecution of women more generally.
Oppressive regimes have always been threatened by art. It is visceral communication, delivering a message and a mood in an instant. It sustains culture, binds society together, and gives it an identity outside of state control. Art can reflect the world of the viewer back at them with more clarity. It can kindle revolution.