Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Polly Hodge


This project aims to establish a connection between suffering expressed through art and Sigmund Freud’s ideas on the ego, sexuality, and unconscious. This is explored through three of Freud’s books On Narcissism, Sexuality and Psychology of Love and The Ego and the Id, and selected paintings by Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí. As Kahlo and Dalí’s paintings show, suffering can be communicated through pictures and colors. Their complicated lives led them to create masterpieces that reflected a distressed ego, aggrieved sexuality, and unconscious suffering. In this essay, the visual content of La cama volando (Kahlo, 1932), Metamorfosis de Narciso (Dalí, 1937), Dos desnudos en un bosque (Kahlo, 1939), Cráneo atmosférico sodomizando a un piano de cola (Dalí, 1934), Las dos Fridas (Kahlo, 1939) and El autorretrato blando con tocino frito (Dalí, 1941) is explored in collaboration with Freud’s writings. The works of art demonstrate how the images and colors in the selected paintings illustrate a fragmented ego, repressed sexual desires, and an afflicted unconscious to reveal an inseparable connection between Psychology and Art such that suffering can be expressed and mentally processed through artistic creativity.


Presented at the virtual Fall 2021 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.