“The Ten Largest, No. 2, Childhood” by Hilma af Klint
Written by Miranda Rodriguez
We could all take a page out of Hilma af Klint’s view on life: playful, refreshing, and challenging. Her paintings transcend the aspect of time by incorporating bold combinations of shapes and patterns, reinventing modernity. Klint paved the way for abstract and modern art, inspiring generations to come. Through her work, we learn that art and creativity are instilled within every aspect of humanity. More specifically, it is in our biology to express ourselves through art.
Klint wants people to associate art with freedom of expression and the beauty found in all of us. This piece, in particular, catches the eye of many art-lovers due to its complementary color palette. The shapes Klint paints are flowery while also looking like amoebas and cells of the human body. With this interpretation, she literally shows the connection between art and our DNA. We all have this powerful beauty within us, even if we are not able to see it. It is in our blood to communicate our thoughts and feelings creatively through art.
Now more than ever, Klint’s emphasis on self-expression and femininity proves important in a society where laws and policies continue to infringe on women’s rights. In a world dominated by masculine figures, femininity and fragility are seen as weaknesses. A direct example would be Alabama’s newly enacted abortion laws explicitly diminish a woman’s influence over her own body. This dominantly male-enacted decision targets women at their most vulnerable, during the early stages in their pregnancy. It disrespects women in the harshest way by taking away their choice and marks feminine issues as shortcomings. The global response to these events on social media demonstrates Hilma af Klint’s outlook on voicing your opinions. Her legacy shows the power in being able to create your own interpretations and standing up for your beliefs. She uses circles in her work to symbolize the continuation of life, which could also relate to the female body and the issue of abortion. Like Klint creates powerful abstract masterpieces from blank canvases, every woman deserves this same kind of freedom with their bodies. With the odds stacked against them, women everywhere fight against injustice and break down walls for future generations.