Frida Kahlo was born July 6th 1907 in Coyoacán Mexico. Perhaps best known for her self-portraits, Kahlo’s art is known for it’s pain,passion, and extremely vivid colors. Her work is recognized in Mexico as a symbol of indigenous tradition and worldwide by feminists for its powerful interpretation of the female experience.
The culture and tradition of Mexico are themes that dominate her work. Her art has been described as Naive or Folk art as well as “Surrealist”.
Frida experienced long term illnesses resulting from a traffic accident in her teen years. Frida’s art was about her life experience, emotional and physical pain, and her stormy relationship with Diego. She created 143 paintings, 55 of which are self-portraits. When asked why she painted so many self-portraits, Frida replied: “Because I am so often alone….because I am the topic I know best.”
After her accident, Frida spent over a year in bed recovering from a fractured spine, collarbone, ribs, shattered pelvis, plus shoulder and foot injuries. She underwent more than 30 operations throughout her life and during her long recoveries in bed, she began to paint.
At 22 she married the renowned 42 year old Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Their wild, passionate marriage managed to survive infidelity, the demands of their professions, separations, remarriage, Frida’s bi-sexuality, her bad health and her inability to have kids. Frida once said: “I suffered two grave accidents in my life…One in which a streetcar knocked me down and the other was Diego.” The streetcar incident crippled her body, and Rivera crippled her emotions.
Frida has been described as: “…one of history’s grand divas…a tequila-slamming, dirty joke-telling smoker, bi-sexual that hobbled about her bohemian barrio in lavish indigenous dress and threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda, Nelson Rockefeller, and her on-again, off-again husband, muralist Diego Rivera.”
Today, more than 50 decades after her passing, her works of art bring more money than any other female artist. She is more popular now than ever and continues to inspire us. She may be gone, but her legacy will continue to live and grow forever.
This is why I would like to welcome Frida into the Man vs. Art Pantheon of Awesomeness.