Who is Frida Kahlo?
Frida Kahlo de Rivera (1907 – 1954) was a Mexican artist best known for her self-portraits.
Her year of birth is given as 1907 but she would tell people that she was born 3 years later because she apparently wanted her life to be associated with the Mexican revolution. Frida was a fierce nationalist which is evident in her art, which features symbols and objects particular to Mexican and Amerindian folk culture. Many classify Frida as a surrealist but she claimed that she did not paint dreams but her painful reality.
Kahlo came into the world and passed from it in the same blue house- ‘la casa azul’, in Mexico city. Her father was of German ancestry and her mother was an Amerindian. When Frida was 13 years old, she was on a bus that crashed into a trolley car. The young girle spent 3 months in a full body cast and although she completely recovered from the accident and regained her ability to walk, she spent most of her life in pain.
Frida Kahlo Paintings
She began painting to occupy her time while she was bed-ridden. She combined elements of Mexican and Amerindian mythology, dramatic symbolism, and a primitive perspective. Andre Breton, the author of the surrealist manifesto, described Kahlo’s work as ‘a ribbon around a bomb.’ Many have argued that the colour and beauty of her work was a mask for all the pain that she had to endure throughout her time alive. Much of Frida’s fame came decades after her death mostly because her work was overshadowed by famous muralist and communist Diego Rivera.
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