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Frida Kahlo Biography

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Mexican artist Frida Kahlo Frida Kahlo

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"Really I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself."
Frida Kahlo


Frida Kahlo biography Frida Kahlo Biography and Information

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Frida Kahlo
Artist Biography on the famous Mexican female painter Frida Kahlo
born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón - Coyoacán, Mexico - 6th of July, 1907 / Died 13th of July, 1954
Famous Frida Kahlo paintings included self portraits that depicted her physical and emotional pain and suffering. She used a lot of symbolism in her works and borrowed elements from surrealism and naive art. She was married to the well known Mexican muralist painter Diego Rivera.


"Frida Kahlo Biography"

Frida Kahlo Facts
Born as: "Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón"
Kahlo was born on: 6th of July, 1907
Born at: Coyoacán, Mexico
Kahlo Died: 13th of July, 1954


Frida Kahlo is one of Mexico's most famous artists. Well known for her self portraits emphasizing her inner struggles, Kahlo managed to gain fame with both her artwork and her public persona before her death in 1954.

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 as Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon in Coyoacan, Mexico to Guillermo Kahlo and Henriette Kaufmann. Her father was of German descent, having changed his name from Wilhelm to the Spanish equivalent, Guillermo, upon his arrival to Mexico in 1891. Frida later acknowledged her German heritage during World War II by spelling her name as Frieda, the German equivalent to Frida.

Having two older older sister and one younger, Frida grew up in a home filled with feminism, despite the unhappy marriage between her parents. At the age of six, Frida contracted polio. Although she recovered from the disease, it left her right leg obviously thinner than her left. Later in life Frida would wear long skirts to cover the deformity.

Frida Kahlo attended local schools and, at the age of 15, was enrolled in Preparatoria, a primary school. During this time and throughout her childhood, Kahlo witnessed the Mexican Revolution evolve around her. It was so close, in fact, that she remembered the gunfire and revolutionaries hopping into her yard to take cover. She also witnessed extraordinary violence, much of which stayed with her throughout her life.

On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was involved in a serious bus accident and suffered several injuries including a broken collarbone, broken spinal column, broken rigs, a broken pelvis, and eleven fractures in her right leg. A metal handrail also impaled her, damaging her reproductive capabilities. Although she fully recovered her ability to move and function, Kahlo was plagued by pain for much of her life.

Although she originally wanted to study medicine, the accident left Kahlo with a new desire to study art. While in recovery, Kahlo began painting full time in order to focus her attention away from her pain. She began painting self portraits due to the solitary state of her recovery and constant immobilization. Her paintings began reflecting more than her outside appearance and she wanted them to represent her inner conflicts as much as they represented her outer body.

As an artist, Kahlo admired and respected local muralist Diego Rivera and solicited advice on art. They fell in love as a result of their correspondence and married in 1929 to the disapproval of Kahlo's mother. They were nicknamed "the Elephant and the Dove" due Rivera's large size in comparison to Kahlo's petite figure.

Although Frida Kahlo is well known as a famous artist, she and her husband were also notorious for their troubled marriage and extramarital affairs. Kahlo had affairs with both men and women and, although Rivera was tolerant of her affairs within her same sex, he was jealous of her relations with other men. Rivera, for his part, had an affair with Kahlo's younger sister, Cristina. Kahlo and Rivera divorced in 1940 but remarried later that same year. Their second marriage was no less tumultuous than the first.

Kahlo and Rivera travelled to the United States for exhibitions of her work in Detroit, New York, and later in Paris. The couple eventually returned to Mexico to settle down and continue painting.

It was during this time that Kahlo and her husband housed Leon Trotsky and his wife as they fled from Stalin's regime in the Soviet Union. It became known after some time that Kahlo had an affair with Trotsky and the man and his wife eventually moved out.

Frida Kahlo died from a pulmanry embolism on July 13, 1954, having spent the last year battling various illnesses and physical problems (including the amputation of her right leg). During her life Kahlo painted 143 paintings, including fifty-five self portraits. Her works are well known for their symbolic realism and her ability to incorporate traditional Mexican styles into her work.



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