Mexico’s Greatest Artist Frida Kahlo : Biography
One of Mexico’s greatest artist, Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyocoan, Mexico City, Mexico. When growing up her home was referred as the Blue House or Casa Azul. Her father came from German descendant and was a photographer. He immigrated to Mexico where he later met and married her mother Matilde. Frida Kahlo mother Matilde, was half Amerindian and half Spanish. Frida had two older sisters as well as a younger one. At a very young ae Frida Kahlo suffered from very bad health at the age of six she contracted polio. Polio is an infectious disease which causes muscle weakness that results in the inability to move. The disease had caused she right leg to not gain as much muscle compared to her left which resulted her to wear long skirts for the rest of her life. At the time trying to overcome this health defect her father encouraged her to play sports to help he recover. She played soccer, swimming, and wrestling which at the time it wasn’t a norm for girls to play sports.
In the year of 1922 Frida Kahlo attended the National Preparatory school in Mexico City. At the time, there were only five female students enrolled at the time and she soon become known for her bravery and outspokenness. The same year a September afternoon she traveled on a bus with a group of friends where a tragic accident happened. The bus went into impact with a car that left Frida Kahlo in very serious injuries. Her spin and pelvis were fractured, the accident left her with a great amount of pain that affected her physically and physiologically. Being so badly injured Frida Kahlo remained in the hospital for several weeks. When coming home to recover Frida began to paint and she finished her first self-portrait. When asked why she painted herself she responded with “I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best”. As she progressed in painting her parents encourage her to do more of it as well as made it possible for her to paint while she laid in bed.
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In the year of 1932 is when Kahlo began to add more realistic components to her painting. In the painting, she created labeled as Henry Ford Hospital she portrayed herself laying in a hospital bed naked and a few things item floating around surrounding her; a fetus, flower, snail, and they were all connected by veins. The statement this painting represented were the feelings of her second miscarriage.
Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera did not have a typical marriage. They both had separate houses and studios where they created their paintings. Diego had many affairs when married to Frida Kahlo and one of them happened to be her sister Cristina. When Kahlo found about the affair being her sister she became very sad and depressed, so depressed that she cut off her hair and it was her way of showing betrayal. Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera did separate but got back together. In the year of 1937 they both helped Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia. At the time Leon Trotsky was a exiled communist and a rival of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. The couple was welcomed into their home and its where Kahlo had an affair with Leon Trotsky.
In 1939, Kahlo was invited by Andre Breton and they both went to Paris. Her work was reveled and she became friends with a couple of artist. Her and her husband had gotten divorced and that’s when she painted one of her famous paintings The Two Frida’s. The painting displays a double self-portrait where there’s two Frida’s sitting on a wooden bench. Over the clothes you are able to see the hearts which is connected by the artery to the heart and they both hold hands. In the painting both Frida’s are dressed differently it is said because of them represent the European Frida and the other the Mexican Frida. The European Frida has a white stained dress with blood, with her heart not being completed. While the Mexican Frida has in her right hand a mini portrait of Diego and her heart is complete. The double portrait gives us that one portrait shows she’s strong and in love while the other shows she’s broken which is why she had the blood on her dress.
Soon after in following year Frida and Diego remarried but their married had no differences from the first. In the same year Kahlo had received commission from the Mexican government to paint five portraits of important Mexican women but she was unable to complete the project. Around the same time, she lost her father and continued to suffer from persistent health issues. Not with standing her health issues her paintings continued to grow within the audience and was included in many shows at the time.
Frida Kahlo painting The Broken Column was created in 1944. The painting demonstrated all the pain and challenges she experiences. The painting depicted her naked and split down the middle. Her spine being shattered, her wearing a surgical brace and there are nails all through her body. Frida expressing the physical challenges she faced through her art. During that time, she had multiple surgeries and had to wear a special corset to protect her spine. Frida Kahlo experienced man medical treatments but none seemed to work. Throughout the 1950’s Frida Kahlo went through many surgeries. She did not stop painting nor stop attending her exhibits. There was a point where she had little mobility and arrived in an ambulance and welcomed the attendees, she celebrated the ceremony in a bed at the gallery set up with her art.
Frida Kahlo having poor health she was depressed and suffered from suicide. Being in and out of the hospital she maintained active in the political movement. She showed up to the protest against the US overthrowing President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala. Almost a week after her 47th birthday Frida Kahlo was reported dead. It was reported that the cause of death was pulmonary embolism but there’s many theories out that say it could have been suicide. Frida Kahlo fame grew after her death. The Blue House was created into a museum in the year of 1958. Since then not only has her art grew but she was also seen as being a feminist of her time.