Frida Kahlo Biography

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Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6th, 1907, Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico in her father’s beloved ‘Blue House.1’ She died at the age of 47 in her beloved blue house on Tuesday, July 13th, 1954. Frida Kahlo is one of Mexico’s most famous artists and represents resilience and strength. She was a surrealist and her artwork reflected visual honesty. Due to her weak and fragile body after her accident she went through 30 operations on her spine and made constant visits to the hospital. In spite of so much pain Frida Kahlo channeled that and her emotion into her art. Frida Kahlo had these paradoxical qualities, where on the one hand she’s this goddess that represents strength and resilience whereas on the other hand she can was similar to a man, she was crude like men; she smoked, drank alcohol, swore and told dirty jokes to frighten guests. Although Frida suffered an immense amount of physical and emotional pain she was always an outgoing person. People were stunned by her beauty and wherever she went, people stopped in to stare at her. Men wanted her and women wanted to be her. Beautiful, intelligent, and extremely talented Kahlo was considered one of the most desirable women of her time. She was romantically linked with movie stars, artists, and politicians of many different nationalities. During her separation from Diego, Frida engaged in several affairs with both men and women. Diego turned a blind eye at her relationships with women but was enraged by her love affairs with men. 

At the age of 6 Kahlo’s got polio and her right leg and foot became deformed despite her father’s efforts to regain some muscle mass the leg remained deformed which Kahlo covered with long dresses and skirts.1 She had a limp her whole life and received the nick name ‘peg-leg-Frida’ due to how skinny her right leg was. During 1922 the Mexican Renaissance movement began and the government sponsored local artists to paint murals in churches, schools, libraries and public buildings. Diego Rivera, a man who would play a major role in Kahlo’s life, painted murals while Kahlo would hide, since students were forbidden to be in the auditorium, and watch him for hours. Rivera was often called ‘panzon’ which means fat belly being as he was a 300 pound man.

Kahlo got into an accident while on a bus with Alejandro on September 17th, 1925. The accident would change her life. A pipe went through her hip bone and out the pelvic bone as a result she broke her pelvic bone, spinal column and sustained other severe injuries which the doctors believed she would not survive. Kahlo endured 30 operations in her lifetime to correct the damage from the accident. Doctors said she’d never conceive a child full term due to her fractured pelvis. Kahlo originally planned on becoming a doctor but now bedridden for several months she received paints and brushes from her father, her mother had a carpenter construct and easel to place on her bed and a mirror was also installed on the canopy above her so she could paint self-portraits. Kahlo’s father Wilhelm Kahlo thought Frida to be his favourite out of the four daughters he has with her mother Matilde Calderón Kahlo. Frida Kahlo’s father often said, “She is the most intelligent of all my daughters and the most like me.2” Out of the 143 painting Frida Kahlo did in her lifetime 55 were self-portraits of her. She often said, “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone because I am the subject I know best.2” Near the end of 1927 Kahlo’s life returned to a sort of ‘normal’ state and in 1928 at a party Kahlo – from a distance - saw Diego Rivera again for the first time since the accident. Later Kahlo gave Rivera some of her work which he admired and told her she had talent. Kahlo said, “I never paint dreams, I painted my own reality, I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.2”

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera got married on August 21st, 1929, a civil ceremony was...
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