Today’s blog is in celebration of International Women’s Day which celebrates women in history. I’ve chosen Mexican artist Frida Kahlo as my subject today because she was so progressive in her thinking and her art is so astounding.
My introduction to Frida was the movie “Frida”, starring Salma Hayek that I watched on DVD/Blu-Ray.
I was instantly fascinated by this artistic out-spoken woman. Frida’s short life was full of strife and hardship, but it sounds to me as if – much like all of us – she also had glorious moments, too! She lived from 1907-1954 in Mexico City, Mexico. Frida contracted polio as a child which left her disabled, but she was an apt student and was headed to medical school until a bus accident at the age of 18.
(Photo taken in 1926 by her father, Guillermo Kalho)
Frida nearly died in that accident from the bus rail that impaled her through her pelvis, leaving her with a fractured pelvic bone, her spine broken in 3 places, right leg in 11 places, broken collarbone, dislocated shoulder, besides puncturing her abdomen and uterus, leaving her unable to have children.
She was in the hospital for a month and then spent months in a full-body cast at home – where she took up painting as a way to pass the time. She began by using a mirror to paint self-portraits for which she is famous today.
(Frida photographed in 1932 by her father, Guillermo)
Frida met her husband, Diego Rivera, a famous artist, in 1928 and they married in 1929. Frida was unable to have children due to the accident, which caused her great sorrow, but you will see in her self-portraits cats and monkeys, her head on the body of a deer, and lots of birds, perhaps to make up for that fact.
She is rumored to have had an affair with Leon Trotsky and also is rumored to have slept with the lovers of Diego to get back at him. She and her husband Diego appear on the 500 Mexican peso bill, one on each side. She was also friends with Georgia O’Keefe!
She once stated in an interview “They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”
You can view some of her art at this link - https://www.fridakahlo.org/
I hope that you look for her art and I’m also interested in who YOUR favorite artist is!
Please let me know in the comments below.