Artist in History

An artist in history is going to be a place where young, aspiring artists can find more information out about famous artist that they may, or may not know about.

For this edition of an artist in history, we will be learning the life of famous portrait painter and feminist icon; Frida Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo was born July 6, 1907 in Mexico City, Mexico. When young Frida was only six years old she contracted polio, which left her bedridden for nine months and did major damage to her right foot and leg.

At the age of eighteen, Frida was in a horrible trolley accident that again, left her bedridden for months. This accident gave Frida a lifetime struggle of different surgeries and treatments that had little success every time. During her recovery from the trolley accident, Frida was given a small lap easel. This I when she began practicing portraits by using her reflection from the mirror above her bed.

Frida Kahlo reconnected with artist Diego Rivera after her days in school. Rivera encouraged Frida’s art and in 1929 Frida and Diego got married.

The two lived in California for sometime while Diego was painting a mural. Frida showed a few pieces of her artwork during their time in California. Frida and Diego moved back to Mexico when he painted a communist leader which ended the mural.In Mexico, Frida and Diego had their own separate houses that was joined together by a tiny bridge.

Frida lived and showed her work in Paris when her and Diego were divorced. But the two weren’t divorced for long because in 1940 the two remarried. In many of Frida’s work she shows her own physical challenges. Frida had to wear several corsets when trying to fix her back, but treatments for her pain had very little success.

In 1953 Frida Kahlo had her first solo exhibition in Mexico. At the time she was again bedridden, but that didn’t stop her from attending the opening. By ambulance she was able to arrive and celebrate all from her bed that was set up in the gallery just for her. Months after the show, part of Frida’s right leg was amputated.

On July 13, 1954, Frida Kahlo died from pulmonary embolism, but some people think she committed suicide. Frida was one of Mexico’s greatest artist and feminist icon and the beloved “Blue House” that Frida grew up in was turned into a museum that opened in 1958. Then in 1970, a feminist movement renewed interest in Frida’s life and artwork where she was viewed as a icon of female creativity.

“I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.” – Frida Kahlo

Image found on Konbini website

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