|Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1954
Country : Mexico
Frida Kahlo was born in Coyoicoàn, Mexico City, to a Mexican
mother and German father. At the age of fifteen, when she was preparing
to enter medical school, she suffered a road accident. Though she never
fully recovered, and her life would be increasingly filled with pain and
disability, she began painting during her recuperation from the accident.
She sent paintings to the well-established Mexican painter Diego Rivera.
Rivera encouraged Kahlo, and in 1928 the
two painters married; their stormy relationship would last for the rest
of Kahlo's life.
Largely self-taught, Kahlo was decisively
influenced by the starkness, high color, and bold, naive figuration of
the popular and religious arts of Mexico. She connected those arts with
developments in French and Spanish surrealism, in which modernist abstraction
gave way to realistic images placed in unexpected-even bizarre and nightmarish-juxtaposition.
One of Kahlo's early supporters was the leader of the French surrealists,
Andre Breton, who in 1939 sponsored an exhibition of her work in Paris.
Her painting became intently focused on a series of self-portraits, both
homage to and parody of images of the Madonna in painted votive objects.
In some of Kahlo's portraits, such as "The Frame" (1938), the artist presents
herself with long hair and dressed in the brightly colored garb of Mexican
tradition. In others, such as "The Velvet Dress" (1926), she wears her
hair in a sophisticated Western style and is dressed in European attire.
As her work progressed, Kahlo began to emphasize not only her thick, joined
eyebrows but also the soft, dark hair on her upper lip. Thus, while the
portraits often express personal suffering, they also reflect on political
and social struggles involving the relationships among native and European
cultures and men and women. During her lifetime, Kahlo's work was o
and Diego Rivera
all Frida Kahlo
Books about Frida