Reclaiming the maternal body: How Cindy Sherman and Frida Kahlo break the taboo of miscarriage

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The representation of the pregnant body is a rare theme in visual arts, especially if it doesn’t represent a happy ending. Visualizing the pain and sorrow of a miscarriage is a traitorous endeavour. Miscarriages are, even today, largely a taboo topic. Even though miscarriages are quite common. Art interrogates and dissects the lived experience. “Though art dealt heroically with physical subjects like death, disease, torture, resurrection, and battle combat, it produced virtually no images of what it feels like to be pregnant” (Higonnet 15). Women’s sexuality and reproductive abilities have been causing anxiety throughout many cultures (Mirkin 18). The lack of visual representation of miscarriage could be due to it being interpreted as a depiction of the failings of the maternal body which contradicts societies messaging. Breaking the taboo of miscarriage and the depiction of pregnant bodies is a challenge which Frida Kahlo and Cindy Sherman took upon themselves.
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