Frida Kahlo – Mexican painter
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was one of the most famous Mexican artists of the 1900s. She was known especially for her disturbing style and her many unsmiling self-portraits. Mexican culture and art of the peoples of pre-Columbian America had a marked influence on her work. Her art style is sometimes described as naive art or folk art. Throughout her life she created striking, often shocking images that reflected her stormy lifestyle.
Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo Calderon was born on July 6, 1907 in Mexico City into a family of a German-Jewish photographer and an Indian-Spanish mother. When Kahlo was a child, she had polio, and the disease kept her right leg from growing properly. But in spite of the disease, active girl swam, played football with the boys and even did boxing.
She didn’t originally plan to become an artist. At the age of 18 the girl was injured in a bus accident. After numerous operations she eventually became an invalid. She started painting while in hospital. Her oil pictures, mostly self-portraits and still lifes, seemed naive, filled with the bright colors and flat forms of the Mexican folk art she admired.
In 1929 she married the painter Diego Rivera, and, like him, supported the Communist Party. In the 1930s she accompanied Diego on several trips to the United States where he was commissioned to do murals in New York, Detroit, and San Francisco. They divorced in 1939. This event served as an important theme in her work of the period. They remarried in 1941.
During her life Frida Kahlo received more recognition as a painter in the United States than in Mexico. She was included in several important group exhibitions.
Frida Kahlo died on July 13, 1954. She was 47 years old.
Today her house in Coyoacan is the Frida Kahlo Museum.
A bright and extraordinary personality of Frida Kahlo was reflected in works of literature and cinema.
The film Frida, dedicated to the artist, was made in 2002. Salma Hayek played the role of Frida.
A short film Frida Kahlo was released in 1971, a documentary in 1982, a documentary film in the series Great Artists in 2000, The Life and Death of Frida Kahlo in 1976, a documentary The Life and times of Frida Kahlo in 2005.
The band Alai Oli has songs “Frida” and “Diego”, dedicated to them.
– She was one of the first Mexican women to wear pants.
– Kahlo often included blood and skulls in her paintings.
– On September 26, 2007 an asteroid was named in her honor. Asteroid 27792 Fridakahlo was discovered by Eric Elst on February 20, 1993.
– On August 30, 2010 The Bank of Mexico has issued a new banknote of 500 pesos on the back of which was a picture of Frida and her picture of 1949, Love’s Embrace of the Universe, Earth, (Mexico), I, Diego, and Mr. Xólotl, and on the front of which was depicted her husband Diego.
– On July 6, 2010 a doodle was released in her honor.
– On March 21, 2001 Frida became the first Mexican woman depicted on the US stamp.
– In 1994, American jazz flautist and composer James Newton inspired by Kahlo released an album titled Suite for Frida Kahlo.