Frida Kahlo Essay

1582 words - 7 pages

Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon better known as Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter born in Coayacan. She is possibly best known for her self-portraits, her work is recalled for its pain and passion and its strong vibrant colors. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as representative of national and its indigenous tradition and by feminists for its rigid portrayal of the female experience and form.
Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coayacan, Mexico. She was one of four daughters born to a Hungarian-Jewish father and a mother of Spanish and Mexican Indian descent. Becoming an artist was never the original plan for Frida. After surviving polio, at the age of 6, which ...view middle of the document...

Being that Kahlo regularly painted self-portraits, when asked why, she said “I paint myself because I am so often alone, and because I am the subject I know best”. She made about 140 paintings along with dozens of drawings and studies. Out of her paintings, 55 of them were self-portraits which often revealed symbolic representations of physical and emotional wounds. Drawn from individual experiences, including her marriage, her miscarriages, and her numerous operations, Kahlo's works are characterized by their concepts of pain (The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo, 2005).
Diego Rivera had a great effect on Frida's painting style. Frida had always respected Diego and his work. She first approached Diego in the Public Ministry of Education, where he had been working on a mural in 1927. She showed him four of her paintings, and asked whether he considered her artistic. Diego was impressed and said, "You have got talent." After that, he became a regular welcomed guest at Frida's house. He gave her many insights about her artwork while still leaving her space to discover herself. There is no hesitation that the positive and inspiring comments made by Diego held together Frida's wish to follow a career as an artist. They began an intimate relationship and were married in 1929, despite the displeasure of Frida's mother. Their marriage was often troubled. Kahlo and Rivera both had short-tempered characters and numerous extramarital relationships. The bisexual Kahlo had affairs with both men and women, including Isamu Noguchi and Josephine Baker. Rivera knew of and accepted her relationships with women, but her relationships with men made him jealous (In Loving Memory of Frida Kahlo, 2008). For her part, Kahlo was frantic when she learned that Rivera had an affair with her younger sister, Cristina. The couple divorced

in November 1939, but remarried in December 1940. Their second marriage was as bothered as

Figure 2- The Frame
Figure 2- The Frame
the first. Their living accommodations were often separate, although sometimes nearby.
In 1938, Kahlo had her first and only solo gallery display in the United States at the Julien Levy Gallery. The works were well acknowledged and the event was attended by several noticeable artists. At the request of André Breton, she went to France during 1939 and was featured at an exhibition of her paintings in Paris. The Louvre bought one of her paintings,
The Frame, which was put on show at the exhibit. This was the first work by a twentieth-century Mexican artist to be bought by the renowned museum. During this time, she painted one of her most famous works, The Two Fridas (1939).
Kahlo received a assignment from the Mexican government for five portraits of important Mexican women in 1941, but she was unable to finish the project. She lost her beloved father that year and continued to suffer from chronic health problems. Despite her personal challenges, her work continued to grow in reputation and was...

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