April 2, 2013
Frida Kahlo: A Biography
Frida Kahlo was born in 1907, just south of Mexico City, in a town called Coyoacán. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, was Jewish and born in Germany. When he immigrated to Mexico he married Frida’s mother, Matilde Calderón, a catholic mestizo. Frida identified herself with both her European ancestry and her indigenous heritage. Unlike many mestizo or mixed persons, who tried to hide their indigenous background, Frida had a strong sense of pride in her mixed heritage. She embraced Mexican indigenous identities and it was this that developed her nationalist ideologies. At fifteen Frida attended the National Preparatory School, and this is when she started to associate with the Mexican Communist party. When she turned of age the Revolutionary government had just recently been formed and she started contributing to the movement in interesting ways. “Frida expressed her nationalism in personal ways- fancy traditional hairstyles, pre-Columbian jewelry, and the folk Tehuana dress of southern Mexico”(Chasteen. 226). Through Frida’s participation in the young communist league, she met and began interactions with Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera was another communist revolutionary, and a public painter whose murals were known for depicting Mexico’s indigenous heritage. Frida Kahlo was familiar with his art, and developed a strong admiration for Rivera when she first saw him at her school, where he was painting one of his murals. It was a few years later, when Frida was active in politics, that she and Diego had their first meeting and became romantically involved. Frida was twenty when they married, and Diego forty-two. They were married up until Frida’s death, at the age of forty-seven. They bore no children due to Frida’s unstable health conditions. Rivera had not wanted children because the commissioning of his murals, meant they had to travel frequently. Their marriage was at times...