Frida Kahlo is one of the most inspirational women in art history. Her style is unique, colorful, intimate, and at times, shocking, and she is considered a surrealist. Many of her paintings reveal her personal experience and suffering because she used herself as one of her main subjects. She was born on July 6, 1907 and at a very young age she dealt with a number of health issues: she contracted polio and later suffered from a tragic bus accident, almost killing her. In the crash, a pole damaged her pelvis and made it impossible for her to have children. She married Diego Rivera as a young woman and their relationship was disharmonious; each of them was said to be unfaithful to one another, they divorced, and remarried. The pain and suffering she experienced throughout her lifetime is conveyed through her art, and she is highly recognized as a feminist icon for her resilience and her grand success. As a Mexican artist she created over 200 pieces of art, out of which 143 were paintings and of those 55 were self-portraits. Two are shown below:
Her influence exceeded her lifetime and she is continually depicted by modern artists. In the painting below, Frida adorns the floral headpiece and hand earrings that she painted herself wearing many times. I love the butterflies and the vibrant colors.
One of my favorites is a modern Frida wearing a band t-shirt:
One more that I find absolutely beautiful:
For someone who suffered so many hardships she possessed a positive attitude toward life:
“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”
– Frida Kahlo
I have a great love for Frida, and I hope after learning a little bit about her, you do, too. There is a wonderful documentary if you want to know more about her life and artwork called “Portrait of an Artist: Frida Kahlo” (1983).