In Self-Portrait with Monkey, 1938 Frida Kahlo does not reference the trolley accident or Diego; instead, she paints her portrait with subtle references to her indigenismo politics. Stylistic links in the painting highlight her indigenous religious beliefs in the cyclical connection between human beings and the natural world. These philosophies are seen in the tied to her pet monkey, her dog (Senor Xolotl), a pre-Columbian idol.
During her life, Frida connects herself to the natural world by echoing the hairs on the vegetation and monkey in her own tresses, styled in her signature indigenous fashion. This bond with nature is reinforced by the curves of her monkey's arm that embrace her neck, the root-like ribbon slung around the monkey (which she used as a symbol for life-lines), and the pink ribbon woven so skillfully into her hair.
Frida explained her pride in Mexico and her desire to change the political situation through her art in a letter to Antonio Rodriguez in 1952. She wrote, "I wish to be worthy, with my paintings, of the people to whom I belong and to the ideas which strengthen me."