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Frida Kahlo: Frida Kahlo, a renowned Mexican artist, was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyocoan, Mexico City. She grew up in the family’s home, later known as the Blue House or Casa Azul. Her father, a German descendant and photographer, immigrated to Mexico and married her mother, Matilde, who was half Amerindian and half Spanish.
The Artistic Genius of Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo had poor health in her childhood, contracting polio at the age of 6 and having to be bedridden for nine months. This disease caused her right leg and foot to grow much thinner than her left one, and she limped after recovering from polio.
Frida Kahlo attended the renowned National Preparatory School in Mexico City in 1922, where she met the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. They became famous for their outspokenness and bravery. Kahlo joined a gang of students who shared similar political and intellectual views and fell in love with the leader, Alejandro Gomez Arias.
On a September afternoon, a tragic accident occurred when a bus collided with a streetcar, causing Kahlo to be seriously injured. She had to stay in the Red Cross Hospital in Mexico City for several weeks before returning home for further recovery. To alleviate the pain, Kahlo started painting and finished her first self-portrait the following year.
Her parents encouraged her to paint and made a special easel for her to paint in bed. In 1928, she reconnected with Rivera, and they got married the next year. During their early years as a married couple, they moved a lot based on Diego’s work.
In 1930, they lived in San Francisco, California, then moved to New York City for Rivera’s artwork show at the Museum of Modern Art. They later moved to Detroit, while Diego Rivera worked for the Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1932, Kahlo added more realistic and surrealistic components to her painting style. In the painting titled Henry Ford Hospital (1932), she lied on a hospital bed naked and was surrounded by a few things floating around. This painting was an expression of her feelings about her second miscarriage.
In 1933, Kahlo and Rivera were commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller to create a mural named Man at the Crossroads at Rockefeller Center. However, Rockefeller stopped his work, and that part was painted over. The couple had to move back to Mexico after this incident and returned to San Angel, Mexico. Kahlo and Rivera’s marriage was not the usual one, as they kept separate homes and studios. Diego had many affairs, including one with Kahlo’s sister, Cristina. Kahlo cut off her long hair to show her desperation for the betrayal.
She had longed for children but could not bear one due to the bus accident. She experienced a second miscarriage in 1934 and was heartbroken when she experienced a second miscarriage in 1934. In 1938, Frida Kahlo became a friend of André Breton, one of the primary figures of the Surrealism movement. She said she never considered herself a surrealist until André Breton came to Mexico and told her she was one.
She also wrote, Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself. In 1939, Kahlo was invited by Breton to Paris, where she befriended artists such as Marc Chagall, Piet Mondrian, and Pablo Picasso. She and Rivera got divorced in 1940, and her most famous painting, The Two Fridas (1939), was painted.