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The 1920s in America reflected a time of change ranging from prohibition to the iconic Flapper girl lifestyle. Famous public figures tended to transform their ideals to the rapidly changing societal standards. Fortunately, for many artists, their lives encompassed the ideals that were established in the 1920s. Thus, the production of art simply became a reproduction of past experiences and lifetime events that the artist encountered. Seemingly obsessed with drugs, alcohol, and sex, artists fell into lives consumed with addictive and psychotic behaviors. The public eye saw these artists as victims of tragic lives and searched for any psychoanalytic meaning throughout their work. Lines dividing Surrealism or Expressionism and writing a diary or an autobiography became blurred. Readers became avid fanatics of these artists with the hopes of catching a glimpse or understanding the personal life of the rich and the famous.
Reasons for appreciating the art were skewed in the 1920s and still are in the present day. Women such as Zelda Fitzgerald, Mina Loy, and Frida Kahlo all produced art deserving immense respect and analysis. Instead, the public understands these artists to have fallen victim to their abusive husbands, drug addiction, and mental illnesses. Yet, deep within the lines of the text or past the paintings, viewers can find more than an autobiography of a tragic woman. These artists utilized their ideals and their lives to produce astounding art worthy of recognition. Embracing Surrealist ideals moving far beyond simple autobiographical qualities, Fitzgerald, Loy, and Kahlo each transform from artist to the art itself.
Hoyt, Kelsey M., "Through the Autobiographies and into the Art: A Deeper Look into Women of the 1920s" (2012). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 20.