Frida Kahlo

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Each of Frida Kahlo’s paintings was a mini biography into her life. Her life’s work of c. 200 paintings, mostly self-portraits, deals directly with her battle to survive. They are a kind of exorcism by which she projected her anguish on to another Frida, in order to separate herself from pain and at the same time confirm her hold on reality. We have selected a few paintings and have pointed out what importance it was in her life at that time.

So here are 10 interesting facts about her:

1/ Frida is Mexican. Her home, Casa de Azul, stands as a museum in Mexico.

2/ Frida was involved in an accident and doctors believed she would not live, let alone walk again. Although she did, the accident would plague her for the rest of her life.

3/ Frida Kahlo was one of the only female students at the National Preparatory School where she surrounded herself with bright intellectuals who piqued her interest in politics.

4/ Frida specialized in self portraits, stating that she painted them because she knew herself best.

5/ « My Dress Hangs There » was a work Frida started while in New York with Rivera during one of his commissions- she stated that although she was in New York, only her dress hangs there while her heart stays in Mexico.

6/ Frida was conflicted with the side of her that Rivera loved, which embraced Mexican traditions of dress and ritual, and the side where Frida expressed being rebellious, that drank and had affairs with others. She created this work to show that she is both, connected physically – but the part that Rivera loved bleeds.

7/ The Art movement Frida was identified with is Surrealism. She was embraced by Andre Breton and Marcel Duchamp- they considered her work to be highly Surrealist, but Frida never classified herself with any group.

8/ She found unibrows and mustaches attractive, so her self-portraits always had them.

9/  She was born in 1907 and died at 47 years of age.

10/ « I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return… » were the last words Frida wrote on her diary before she dies. Rivera stated that Frida’s paintings are « agonizing poetry on canvas » -Frida felt that her life was full of pain and sadness, and most of all she hated the pain her body caused her. She wanted to be burned not buried, and she wanted never to return.

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